If you’re looking for a book featuring a quirky story that is brilliantly written and gives you all the feels, I have just the thing for you.
With two wonderfully real and loveable main characters, a fantastic supporting cast and a story that is just silly enough to be true, Beth O’Leary has crafted a debut that is fresh and funny, heartbreaking and hopeful, modern and, oh, I can’t think of another fitting M word but let’s just say it’s a cracker.
The Flatshare is destined for big things (and surely the big screen?).
In short, this is the book I wish I could write.
Here’s the 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…
The only minor quibble I had was with their names. While individually, Tiffy, Mo and Gerty probably wouldn’t even rate a comment, seeing them together on the first page actually made me wince – although maybe that says more about me than them?
I find names so important in books and I completely judged the characters. Or rather misjudged in this case. I’m sure there’s a lesson for me there.
Tiffy is lovely, I’d welcome her as a friend. The relationship with her ex seems all too real and horrible (and all too frustrating for Mo and Gerty).
Leon is complicated but charming in his own understated way.
Tiffy and Leon take turns to narrate so you get a good understanding of both of them and the story. I liked the way Leon’s voice is gruffer than Tiffy’s, it’s cleverly done.
I also loved the way their relationship developed. There are so many genuine moments that made me laugh and cry.
There’s just the right mix of everything in this book. It feels like an epic debut and I can’t wait to read more from Beth.
My rating: Five stars.
With thanks to Quercus (via NetGalley) for the ARC in return for an honest review.