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The Flatshare – Beth O’Leary

Blurb

Tiffy and Leon share a flat

Tiffy and Leon share a bed

Tiffy and Leon have never met…

Tiffy Moore needs a cheap flat, and fast. Leon Twomey works nights and needs cash. Their friends think they’re crazy, but it’s the perfect solution: Leon occupies the one-bed flat while Tiffy’s at work in the day, and she has the run of the place the rest of the time.
But with obsessive ex-boyfriends, demanding clients at work, wrongly imprisoned brothers and, of course, the fact that they still haven’t met yet, they’re about to discover that if you want the perfect home you need to throw the rulebook out the window..

My thoughts

I’ve just placed my Kindle down after finishing this amazing book and my first thought is jealousy. I’m not jealous of the writer, well,  I am a bit. What writer doesn’t regret not dreaming up iconic books like this! No. I’m jealous of you, the reader. The reader who’s yet to read this delight. I do re-read books again on occasion but it won’t be the same as the first-time round. 

In the blurb this has been stylised as a Richard Curtis rom-com, a director I admire hugely (Notting Hill is one of my favourite movies, more later on that below). But, whilst I can see the parallels I think The Flatshare roots stretch much further back to the halcyon days of cinematography and Billy Wilder. Who can forget those classics like Some Like It Hot and The Seven-Year Itch and, of course not forgetting  The Apartment: all comedies but ones that deal with particularly challenging issues just as The Flatshare does. So, dear reader don’t expect pink fluffy bunnies when you read the blurb. This isn’t a light read although the idea of two people sharing a flat and never communicating or even meeting, except through the medium of Post-It notes is quite frankly ridiculous. It’s the stuff of dreams although, I believe, inspired by a true situation that the author experienced. 

Tiffy, God, I loved Tiffy. She’s kooky (think of, the greatly missed,  Emma Chambers portrayal of Honey in Notting Hill but red-haired and taller and you’ll be able to conjure her up). Like Honey she’s unlucky in love and has made some bad choices in the past, choices that find her pretty much homeless and unable to afford anywhere to live in London except sharing a flat with, palliative-care night-nurse, Leon. Leon has his own financial worries, all his money going on lawyers fees in order to secure the release of his wrongly imprisoned brother. 

The scene is set. The characters are strong, the writing stronger and the plot….well, I’m not giving away any spoilers but, if this little slice of literary delight doesn’t pretty much clean up the 2019 rom-com/up-lift market I’m in the wrong job! 

A million yellow, shiny, pointy thingamajigs. 

Thank you to Beth O’Leary for putting a good word in with Hannah Robinson for the ARC. 

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Hello and Welcome, hope you enjoy Jenny

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