The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary

The Flatshare makes my heart happy, which I know technically speaking isn’t possible, but let’s not split hairs. I have recommended this book to a number of people, having not actually read it myself, so I’m grateful to my sister for pulling a sneaky manoeuvre and buying it for me, rather than the person she pretended it was for. You don’t need to have read a book to make a sound recommendation. I had heard enough good feedback on The Flatshare from colleagues and other readers for me to endorse their views. Now that I have read it, I’ll be waxing lyrical about it to anyone remotely interested.

The storyline has the perfect blend of ingredients for a thoroughly enjoyable romance fiction. The main characters, Tiffy and Leon, have an opposites-attract story. They also have an unconventional set-up, sharing the same bed but never meeting for months which keeps the pages turning nicely. There is also a range of well-developed side characters, that all have purpose and entertaining sub-plots that drive the narrative forward. This includes an important side-story around emotional abuse and gaslighting that is handled with great sensitivity.

I liked that Tiffy and Leon are unconventionally attractive. She is 6ft tall with outrageous dress sense and he is gangly with a mop of curls. Their communication via post-it notes draws us as readers into their little flatshare environment as we see them begin to bond and open up.

Yes, you can see some of the plot developments coming – of course you can, it’s a romance! But this romance fiction is so sweet and delicious that you’re torn between gobbling all the chapters at once, or savouring every last page.

It may be because I’m a hopeful romantic, but I really didn’t want this book to end. It made me smile so often and I loved the characters so much I feel lost without them. They’re not even real and I still wonder what they’re up to. Books like The Flatshare are absolute gems, and this one is perfect for anyone who loves a rom-com.