You know when everyone in the world seems to have read a book and you haven’t? Well, that’s how I felt about The Flatshare. Now I have finally read it I’m pleased to say it exceeded my high expectations for it.

It starts with a very unusual premise and once which made me think a lot about how it would really work. Leon has a flat, a one-bedroom flat. He needs more money for something very important to him and so he advertises for a flatmate, but not only that, a bedmate! Leon works nights though and spends weekends at his girlfriend’s so the lucky person can have the flat evenings, overnight and weekends, with Leon only being there in the day to catch up with sleep. What could go wrong…?!

Well, quite a few things actually. I had to smile at Leon’s consternation at all of Tiffy’s belongings around his man-flat, all her unusual clothes and snazzy beanbags. In a one-bedroom flat it must have been quite cluttered. And yet he finds himself warming to this woman he’s never ever met. They start to get to know one another through post it notes left stuck to practically every surface and it’s just the most wonderful and heartwarming thing to witness.

I think this is a book that in different hands could have been twee and fluffy. It isn’t that at all. It’s so humorous but also goes into serious subjects as well. There are one or two truly horrid characters but thankfully there are a lot more lovely ones. Tiffy and Leon are an absolute delight to behold, and Tiffy’s friends and Leon’s brother make up the fabulous cast of characters. The least said about Justin, Tiffy’s ex, the better!

I can’t praise this book highly enough. It’s full of charm and wit, it has a clever and original storyline and the most gorgeous characters. If you want a book that leaves you with a massive smile on your face then look no further, The Flatshare is your book (if you’re one of the very few people who haven’t already read it, that is!).

Nicola Smith, Short Book and Scribes, 5/5

The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary
Quercus 9781787474406 hbk Apr 2019