August in Paris calls for homemade lemonade, cold salads and wide-open windows, our flat breathing in fresh air. After a few somber reads, I needed a change in my reading life and picked up a feel-good novel, The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary. Living in a big city can call for some odd behaviors: on-demand dog walking, avoiding eye contact in public, or as O’Leary imagines, a bed-share. Yes, readers, a bed-share.
Living in London, Tiffy Moore looks for an apartment after her on-again off-again boyfriend, Justin, breaks-up with her. The book begins as Tiffy tours a grim, crumbling apartment with her two best friends from university. Despite their pleas for her to live with them, their apartment too tiny for three, Tiffy inquires about a rather odd flatshare.
Leon Twomey, a night nurse, looks to make some extra money each month to send to his wrongfully imprisoned brother. He posts an advertisement online for a flatshare: a one-bedroom apartment available all from 6 pm until 8 am, including weekends. With his girlfriend’s approval, spending more time at her place anyways, Leon moves forward with the flatshare. His girlfriend interviews flatshare candidates, ultimately deciding on Tiffy as his roommate. Tiffy moves in shortly after, without having met Leon. Over the course of the story, Tiffy and Leon communicate through lingering post-it notes scattered around the flat, living many months together without meeting.
Pack this book on your summer vacation—O’Leary’s debut novel is the perfect heartwarming read for the holiday. She offers laughs, with memorable characters, while adding in complex personal situations both Tiffy and Leon come to confront.
A very special thank you to Beth O’Leary and the Publicity Team at Quercus Books for providing The Flatshare for me to read!
Recommended to Whom: Fans of the TV series New Girl, annual viewers of The Holiday and readers of Goodbye, Paris
Source: BookMarks, new releases
Trigger Warning: This book contains gaslighting, emotional abuse and stalking