242020May

The Flatshare

The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary. New York: Flatiron Books, 2019, 328 pages.

An unique and utterly charming romance that is a heartwarming read for troubled times. Be prepared to meet the next favorite couple.

Tiffy is in a bit of a fix. She’s currently living with her ex-boyfriend and things are getting extra awkward because he has a new girlfriend he is bringing home. She needs a cheap flat and she needs it yesterday. Ignoring warnings from her best friends, she answers an ad for a flatshare. The flat is hers at night and on the weekends. The rest of the time, the flat belongs to Leon.

Leon, a man of few words, is a palliative care nurse who works nights. The lawyer fees for his brother’s appeal are escalating. His innocent brother is sounding increasingly despondent, increasing the pressure on Leon to find the funds to move the court case on. The unconventional choice of a flatshare (including sharing a bed) is the only option.  Leon’s protective girlfriend acts as the point of contact for Tiffy, so that the two never meet.

This rather odd arrangement actually works. Though their paths are not physically crossing, they interact through notes. The notes begin simple, such as reminders about trash pickup, invites to enjoy leftovers, or a polite request to decrease the amount of throw pillows littering the flat. As time goes, the two share more with each other. Tiffy writes to Leon about her more interesting work clients, her friends, and the difficult relationship with her ex-boyfriend. Leon likewise finds himself opening up to Tiffy, stories about his family and his brother’s court case. At the surface, these two are completely different. A friendship forms and maybe something more.

This delightful book is available to be checked out at the library’s curbside service as well as an e-book through Overdrive. For those looking for more heartwarming romances, enjoy titles by Rainbow Rowell, Christina Lauren, and David Nicholls.

Amanda Gramley is the Adult Programming Coordinator with the Alamance County Public Libraries.  Contact her at agramley@alamancelibraries.org.