The Flat Share is the second book by Beth O’Leary that I have read, the first being The Switch, which I thoroughly enjoyed. You can find my review here. The Flat Share did not disappoint, although if I had to choose a favourite of the two, The Switch would be my choice.
Tiffy works in publishing, and after a recent break-up, is looking for an affordable place to live. Meanwhile, Leon lives in a flat, which he is never at due to his long night shifts as a nurse. For financial reasons, Leon decides to advertise for someone to flatshare with him. The rules are that Monday to Friday, he has the flat during the day, and the rest of the time the accommodation is free. Although a little strange, Tiffy does not have many other options and becomes Leon’s roommate.
As with The Switch, Beth has written The Flat Share from two perspectives, with the chapters alternating between Tiffy and Leon.
At first, I found Leon’s chapters awkward to read. His chapters are not typically presented and do not have any formally punctuated speech. Instead, his chapters are almost script-like, and the writing is disjointed. The author has chosen to use this writing method to reflect Leon’s personality. However, in contrast to Tiffy’s chapters, which are much more chatty and formatted – as you would typically expect, it took a while to adjust from one chapter to the next. Having said that, once I got used to it, it became a quirk I appreciated.
Aside from the love story that develops, the individual characters also have their own stories. Tiffy struggles to get over her ex-boyfriend, and it becomes apparent that he was not that great of a boyfriend to her in the first place. Meanwhile, Leon has to finance and organise his brother’s prison appeal.
Overall, I enjoyed this book. It was a quick read, and I recommend it to those who enjoy reading modern-day love stories.