Thursday 28 May 2020

The Flat Share by Beth O'Leary

Imagine sharing a flat with someone you've never met? That would be really strange, but then imagine sharing a flat with someone you are never destined to meet? Weird huh? OK, let's take it one step further. 
Imagine sharing a bed with them?
Well, that's exactly what happens in The Flat Share. Tiffy desperately needs someone to live, after her incredibly nasty and controlling boyfriend turfs her out of his flat, in favour of  his new fiancee. Leon needs more money to help pay for the lawyer who is supposedly trying to get his brother out of jail. A win win situation for both of them. Tiffy has the flat all day and over the weekends, while Leon lives there at night. The old saying, 'NEVER THE TWAIN SHALL MEET' comes to mind. 
This book is adorable from start to finish. In fact, I read it in two days and really didn't want to leave the characters behind. It is definitely one of those books that makes you feel quite bereft when finished. This was the perfect read for lockdown. 
The story is told in dual narrative and the two characters communicate through notes left all around the house. In a world where technology now dominates and the art of letter writing is a forgotten memory, this is the nearest you will get to an epistolary novel. I've always loved books where the characters communicate by writing to each other, I feel they are more honest with their feelings. For three quarters of the book, and over nearly a year, the two character never meet. Everyone one they know, seems to have met the other flat mate and through these meetings, Tiffy and Leon get a glimpse of what their flatmate is really like. 
When they do meet, it's beautiful and explosive, even if they couldn't be more different to each other if they tried. 
I can see why this book has been so popular. It's warm and funny, yet tender and sweet. The perfect idea of a rom-com. I would love to see this made into a film, as it would be just as big a hit as the book. 
This was the author's debut novel and I really don't think it will be long before she is considered one of the best in the rom-com field. The author's writing style reminded me a lot of Catherine Alliot's, but a younger, more contemporary version. If you haven't read it yet, then I would definitely pick it up. I promise that you won't be disappointed.  

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