Beth O’Leary – The Flat Share

I’ve wanted to read this book since it first came out, but since I’m not a lover of hardback books, I had a long wait for it to come out in paperback! I also reserved it in audio format on my library app when I found out it was being narrated by Carrie Hope Fletcher, and as luck would have it, the day after I bought the paperback, I finally got to the top of the list for the audio loan!

I was torn between getting lost in the pages, or having it read to me, but it turns out the audio version was the perfect accompaniment for a week of my morning walks. Both Carrie Hope Fletcher and Kwaku Fortune had the perfect voices for the roles, and drew me right into the characters lives.

Unfortunately, because I’m a big fan of Carrie Hope Fletcher, I couldn’t help but picture Tiffy as a red-headed version of her, but that only made me relate to the character more.

The reason I wanted to read the book so much was because the idea seemed so novel to me – two strangers not just sharing a flat, but sharing a bed (at different times), and communicating through notes left in the flat. Leon works nights as a nurse in a hospice so has the flat during the day, and Tiffy has the flat overnight and at weekends. I think just the fact that he works in a hospice probably tells you something of Leon’s nature – he’s so caring and sensitive and as he opens up throughout the book, it’s a wonderful thing. And Tiffy is such a complex character – completely weird, but in the best way.

I thought the author dealt with some pretty complex issues with sensitivity and care, which was really nice. Some of the things that Tiffy and Leon go through can’t have been easy to write about, because they definitely weren’t easy to read. As a warning in case it might be a trigger for you, the book contains gaslighting, stalking and emotional abuse. As I said, it’s written about with care, but that doesn’t make it any easier to read.

Obviously, knowing it’s a romance book means you kind of know what’s going to happen in the end, but there were plenty of twists and turns to get there and at times I was a bit worried that they wouldn’t end up together, but the book ended in the most heart-warming way and I had such a smile on my face when the music started playing at the end of the audio.

I’d recommend this book to anyone who likes a light-hearted read with a bit of depth, and I’d definitely recommend the audio book – the narrators were both fabulous!

My rating: 5Average rating: 4.12
448 pages. Published in: 2019
Read in Audiobookon 9th-14th March 2020

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