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The Flat Share by Beth O’Leary

I picked up this book, having seen a lot of interest in it online. I read a few reviews, which all raved about how amazing it was, and knew I wanted to give it a read, especially as the plot sounded completely original and also great fun.

Following a bad break up, Tiffy is desperately in need of somewhere to live that fits within her tight budget… and a solution soon presents itself in the form of an unusual flat share. Leon is advertising the use of his bed overnight and at weekends: since he works all night shifts in his nursing job it seems the ideal solution to make some much-needed extra money, and he never even needs to meet his new tenant.

However, life is rarely as simple as planned. Leon and Tiffy begin communicating via a series of notes and soon learn a lot about each other and themselves. Leon’s brother is in prison and desperately trying to get an appeal hearing for the conviction he should not have been found guilty for. Leon is also trying to track down a former romantic interest of one of his patients. Tiffy has her own drama to deal with, as she comes to terms with the fact that her previous relationship was not as perfect as she thought it had been, and has to cope with the mysterious re-appearances of her ex-boyfriend at the worst times. In the midst of all this, Tiffy and Leon finally find the opportunity to meet the person they’ve each been sharing a bed with.

I absolutely loved this book. It was the kind of story that I didn’t want to finish, because I really didn’t want it to be over. The characters were engaging and well-rounded; not perfect but utterly believable. I really enjoyed the completely original idea at the start of the novel and found it worked really well in terms of plot progression. I particularly liked the early post-it communications between Tiffy and Leon. I also liked the fact that while it was funny and romantic, it also dealt with some darker themes, including abusive/controlling relationships. I think it drew a nice balance, showing that life is never simply sad or happy, but usually sonewhere in between.

Funny, heart-warming and positive… this is a rom-com well worth reading and I loved every page of it!

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