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The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary (audio)

Source: Purchased
Audible, 9+ hrs.
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The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary, narrated by Carrie Hope Fletcher and Kwaku Fortune, Tiffy Moore is a woman who has been chucked out of an apartment she shared with her boyfriend Justin. She’s got a small budget, so she has few options that don’t involve horrible conditions or strange alternatives. One alternative is to share a flat with Leon, a hospice nurse who works nights. They would need to share the one bed, but they would be in it at different times. Tiffy works day shift as a book editor, so she’d have the place on weekends and at night during week.

How can this be romantic or comical, if Tiffy and Leon never meet? They do start communicating about the mundane doings of apartment sharing through post-its notes on the fridge, tables, etc. Leon is a man of few words, and Tiffy is the opposite — she’s effusive and chaotic.

***Trigger warning for sufferers of abuse***

This is not a light-hearted comedy alone; there are deeper issues dealt with, and yes, in a quicker timeline than normally would happen. Tiffy’s ex-boyfriend may have left her for another woman he plans to marry, but she is more than gun-shy when it comes to other men. She’s so consumed by everything Justin ever said about her, she can no longer just be herself without second-guessing or putting herself down. It’s clear something about her relationship with Justin wasn’t right. You find out later in the book.

Leon, meanwhile, is not without his own troubles. He’s dating Kay who clearly doesn’t think he spends enough time with her, which is why she’s all for the flatshare and having him on weekends at her place. He is consumed with work, finding the long lost love of one of his patients, and freeing his wrongly accused brother from prison. Leon may be quiet and mild-mannered, but he has a busy schedule.

O’Leary really writes quirky characters so well. Tiffy is someone you can imaging bubbling up you life and bringing color to it, while Leon is that introspective friend who overthinks but always has great advice. Her plot enables Tiffy and Leon to lead separate lives, even as they fall into like with each other. The comic set of side characters also keeps things unpredictable. The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary, narrated by Carrie Hope Fletcher and Kwaku Fortune, is one to read if you don’t mind a little heavy stuff mixed with your romantic comedy.

RATING: Cinquain

About the Author:

Beth O’Leary is a Sunday Times bestselling author whose books have been translated into more than 30 languages. She wrote her debut novel, The Flatshare, on her train journey to and from her job at a children’s publisher. She now lives in the Hampshire countryside and writes full time.

Mailbox Monday #677

Mailbox Monday has become a tradition in the blogging world, and many of us thank Marcia of The Printed Page for creating it.

It now has its own blog where book bloggers can link up their own mailbox posts and share which books they bought or which they received for review from publishers, authors, and more.

Velvet, Martha, and I also will share our picks from everyone’s links in the new feature Books that Caught Our Eye. We hope you’ll join us.

Here’s what I received:

The Switch by Beth O’Leary from Audible.

When overachiever Leena Cotton is ordered to take a two-month sabbatical after blowing a big presentation at work, she escapes to her grandmother Eileen’s house for some long-overdue rest.

Eileen is newly single and about to turn 80. She’d like a second chance at love, but her tiny Yorkshire village doesn’t offer many eligible gentlemen.

So they decide to try a two-month swap.

Eileen will live in London and look for love. She’ll take Leena’s flat, and learn all about casual dating, swiping right, and city neighbors. Meanwhile, Leena will look after everything in rural Yorkshire: Eileen’s sweet cottage and garden, her idyllic, quiet village, and her little neighborhood projects.

But stepping into one another’s shoes proves more difficult than either of them expected. Will swapping lives help Eileen and Leena find themselves…and maybe even find true love? In Beth O’Leary’s The Switch, it’s never too late to change everything…or to find yourself.

The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary from Audible.

What if your roommate is your soul mate?

A joyful, quirky romantic comedy, Beth O’Leary’s The Flatshare is a feel-good audiobook about finding love in the most unexpected of ways.

Tiffy and Leon share an apartment. Tiffy and Leon have never met.

After a bad breakup, Tiffy Moore needs a place to live. Fast. And cheap. But the apartments in her budget have her wondering if astonishingly colored mold on the walls counts as art.

Desperation makes her open minded, so she answers an ad for a flatshare. Leon, a night shift worker, will take the apartment during the day, and Tiffy can have it nights and weekends. He’ll only ever be there when she’s at the office. In fact, they’ll never even have to meet.

Tiffy and Leon start writing each other notes – first about what day is garbage day, and politely establishing what leftovers are up for grabs, and the evergreen question of whether the toilet seat should stay up or down. Even though they are opposites, they soon become friends. And then maybe more.

But falling in love with your roommate is probably a terrible idea…especially if you’ve never met.

What did you receive?