Originally published: 18 April 2019
Author: Beth O’Leary
Published by: Quercus Books
Length: 400 pages
Reading dates: 5-7 April 2019
Tiffy & Leon Share a Flat
Tiffy & Leon Share a Bed
Tiffy & Leon Have Never Met
What a great hook! As soon as I read the words above I knew I had to read this book. Tiffy is looking for a place to live. She has split up with her boyfriend Justin, he has moved on and she knows she can’t stay in his flat any more. She hasn’t got much money to spare and London rents are astronomical so when she sees an advert for a flat share for a one bedroom flat with a 27 year old palliative care nurse called Leon for only £350 per month she knows it is too good an opportunity to miss, despite her friends being somewhat dubious! The arrangements are as follows: Leon will have the flat Monday-Friday 9am-6pm and Tiffy will have it the rest of the time.
I’m going to say straight away how much I loved this book! I was lucky enough to get an ARC way back in November but wanted to wait until nearer publication date to read it. This is such a great idea for a plot – 2 people who haven’t met but who share the same space. They have to get used to each others possessions (Tiffy owns a lot of clothes!) and each others habits (Leon leaves the toilet seat up) but once they both get used their strange arrangement, things go well.
Leon works in a hospice in palliative care and is a man of few words but is liked and respected by everyone he works with and his patients. The reason he is renting out his flat is to pay the legal costs for his brother who is in jail after wrongly being convicted of armed robbery.
Tiffy is a lovely and slightly quirky young woman who works for Butterfingers Press, a specialist publisher of crafting and DIY books. She is surrounded by a lovely bunch of friends who really have her back and are glad she is trying to move on from her breakup with Justin.
This is such a heart-warming, funny and feel-good book! The story is told in alternating chapters by both Leon and Tiffy and their voices are so authentic that I feel like I know them both well and I desperately want to be part of their lives. They communicate by post-it notes around the flat and these are funny and I love how their relationship develops, despite them never having met or even having any idea what the other looks like. Despite the light and fluffy feel, it also covers some more serious issues including the way ex-boyfriend Justin treats Tiffy, psychologically bullying her.
This is a solid 5 star read for me! Perfect in every way! I fully expect this to be THE book of the summer and I shall be singing it’s praises to everyone who will listen! It felt like a breath of fresh air and I would quite happily read about Leon and Tiffy in many subsequent books (if the author would be kind enough to write them for me!)
Lots of other lovely bloggers are shouting from the rooftops about this book which is published today – please take a look at their posts too!
I was lucky enough to be invited to the launch party on Wednesday 10th April in London where the staff at Quercus had done a marvellous job of recreating Tiffy and Leon’s flat, complete with post it notes and other props from the book. I got to speak to a couple of people from Quercus and also got to speak to Beth herself who was so lovely and put up with me gushing and possibly being a little bit stalkerish about how much I loved her book!
Many thanks to Ella at Quercus Books for sending me an ARC and to Quercus for inviting me to the evening book launch.
About the author:
Beth studied English at university before going into children’s publishing. She lives as close to the countryside as she can get while still being within reach of London, and wrote her first novel, The Flatshare, on her train journey to and from work.
You’ll usually find her curled up with a book, a cup of tea, and several woolly jumpers (whatever the weather).