Martin's Must Reads: 'The Flatshare'

Sep 17, 2019

“After a bad breakup, Tiffy Moore needs a place to live. Fast. And cheap. Desperation makes her open-minded, so she answers an ad for a flatshare. Leon, a night-shift worker , will take the apartment during the day, and Tiffy can have it nights and weekends. He’ll be there only when she’s at the office. In fact, they’ll never even have to meet.”

I’m Betty Martin with "Martin’s Must Reads" and that’s from the fly leaf of Beth O’Leary’s novel The Flatshare. The story takes place in London and revolves around the lives of Tiffy, an assistant editor at a DIY Book publishing house and Leon a hospice nurse. Tiffy is verbose, cheery, emotional and has her own unique style. Her best friends are Gerty, a no nonsense barrister; Mo, a soft-hearted counselor and Rachel a supportive co-worker.

As the story begins Tiffy has just broken up, for the last time, with a emotionally abusive boyfriend/stalker and Leon is struggling to stay in a relationship. As flat mates, they literally do not meet for several months but get to know each other through post-it notes they leave throughout the small apartment.  Tiffy’s are wordy and funny, Leon’s are short sentences with no pronouns. Leon has a brother Richie who was wrongly accused of armed robbery and whom Leon is trying to get out of prison.

As the book progresses, Tiffy comes to terms with the emotional toll the ex-boyfriend took on her, finally meets Leon in person and convinces her barrister friend to help with Richie’s prison appeal.

If you’re looking for a well-written, fun, quick read about some very real characters and their issues, then you must read The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary.