I’ve spent much more time on social media during lockdown than I would have normally. I’m not working much at the moment as there isn’t much need for marketing unfortunately. So, I thought it would be an excellent time to channel my energy into the things I love. I have read so many books recently and I have loved getting lost in them. My usual genre is crime/ thriller and I don’t tend to enjoy romance novels. I find them too cringy and the characters usually grate on me. However, when I saw every bookstagrammer posting pictures of The Flat Share, I had to jump on the bandwagon!
I have to say I LOVED it! It is one of my favourite books I have read this year and I flew through it, even staying up until gone midnight to finish it. And I never do that now. I think the reason I enjoyed it so much was because it reminded me so much of Tom and I. Not that we did a flat share! But we were friends for 6 months before we got together and to this day, we’re adamant it’s the reason we hardly ever argue and get on so well. When we started dating, we already knew so much about one another that it was comfortable and easy.
Tiffy and Leon live totally opposite lives. He works nights in a care home providing palliative care, and Tiffy is an assistant editor for a crafts publisher and specialises in crocheting etc. I’m sure every girl reading the book has had a ‘Justin’ in their life. I have. This isn’t to slate an ex as it was in the past and we all make mistakes, but until you split up with someone, sometimes you have no idea how manipulative a person can be. Tiffy appears to be the weaker one of her friends, all of them advising her to get rid of Justin from her life and see him for who he truly is. Leon is also in an unhappy relationship with Kay. You can’t help but feel some sort of animosity towards Kay – she falsely calls Tiffy ‘large and unattractive’ to ensure Leon never meets her.
However, despite leading different working schedules and social lives, Tiffy and Leon manage to develop a blossoming friendship through the power of post it notes. Tiffy’s being longer and more chatty, Leon’s giving away little of himself. Again, this act was very heart warming for myself to read. Tom used to leave me post it notes on the mirror or in the kitchen when he went to work before we lived together. I actually have a book full of them and they are something I will keep forever.
I won’t give away any spoilers but I found it refreshing to read something that wasn’t depressing or about coronavirus to be honest. There have been some criticism about the ending and how it is not ‘realistic’ but I liked it. Tom and I got engaged after being together two years and he is my best friend. We tell each other everything and we get on so well, and support one another. In some ways we’re very similar, and in others, very different. But we work – just like Tiffy and Leon.
The writing flowed nicely and I think Beth O’Learly did a really good job at portraying the characters, and giving the reader a feel of who they are and what makes them tick. I always find it impressive when an author can make you feel like you can relate to a character and feel empathy for them and with them.
If you haven’t read The Flat Share yet, you must get hold of a copy! It’s a great feel-good book and is perfect for escaping the horror and sorrow of the real world.