The next book to be featured on the Jo Whiley Radio 2 Book Club will be The Flatshare, the brilliant debut novel by Beth O’Leary. Beth will be on the show on Monday 15 April and the book is released on 18 April.
We have an exclusive extract available for you to read.
We have the chance for you to win 10 copies of this fantastic novel for your reading group! Please enter by Friday 19 April.
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Tiffy and Leon share a flat
Tiffy and Leon share a bed
Tiffy and Leon have never met…
Tiffy Moore needs a cheap flat, and fast. Leon Twomey works nights and needs cash. Their friends think they’re crazy, but it’s the perfect solution: Leon occupies the one-bed flat while Tiffy’s at work in the day, and she has the run of the place the rest of the time.
But with obsessive ex-boyfriends, demanding clients at work, wrongly imprisoned brothers and, of course, the fact that they still haven’t met yet, they’re about to discover that if you want the perfect home you need to throw the rulebook out the window…
Selection panel review
The book was selected with the help of a panel of library staff from across the UK. Our readers loved The Flatshare – here are some of their comments:
“To say I loved this novel would be an understatement, it was brilliant. It was funny, sad and the premise highly original. Who has ever read about two people who share a flat and a bed but never actually meet? One occupies the bed 9am to 6pm the other 6pm to 9am, what could possibly go wrong? I defy you to meet two more lovable and likeable characters. You knew that eventually the two would meet but how was the eternal question and this is where O’Leary excelled. Using post-it notes that Tiffy and Leon wrote to each other and pinned all over the apartment you could sense something happening, the notes got longer, as they revealed their troubles and indeed their personalities. The Flatshare wasn’t all fluffy and light, it did have a serious side too, but O’Leary brilliantly balanced the light and the dark. Her narrative was wonderful, full of riotous colour that piqued your imagination, that made you laugh one minute before it sent you spiralling downwards on the next page. If there was one thing I will take away from The Flatshare is that I totally fell in love with Tiffy and Leon and did not want to leave them. Was there a happy ending? You will have to pick up a copy and find out for yourself!”
“This book was genuinely laugh-out-loud funny, which can be a rarity these days. The characters were fun and heart-warming, the plot was really well-paced, and definitely made it a page turner – I finished it in about two days. The romance was a perfect slow-burner and the idea of these two strangers sharing a flat and a bed, never meeting, and only getting to know each other through post-it notes, was actually really sweet. It was really heart-warming to see Tiffy and Leon’s relationship unfold, and I thought both characters were really well developed. In total, this was a really enjoyable book that I think will be really popular, and it has a really important message about healthy relationships.”
“This is a little gem of a read that ticked all of the boxes for me – romance, drama, wonderful characters and a brilliant storyline. The main characters in this book are beautifully written and very relatable and by the end of the book you are left wanting to know more about them. There are also a number of secondary characters who all play important roles in both Tiffy and Leon’s story. The book is both funny and sad leaving you with a warm glow by the time you’ve finished. One of my favourite reads of the year!”
“Sometimes a book can blow you away totally unexpectedly and this is one of them. There are the usual romcom ideas but there was just one plot strand that was so powerful that I actually had to put the book down as I was so overcome.”
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 in reach of London, and wrote her first novel, The Flatshare, on her train journey to and from work. She is now writing novels full time, and if she’s not at her desk, you’ll usually find her curled up somewhere with a book, a cup of tea, and several woolly jumpers (whatever the weather).
Tune in to Jo Whiley’s show on Monday 15 April to hear a live interview with Beth.
Planning to buy The Flatshare for your group? Buy books from Hive and support The Reading Agency and local bookshops at no extra cost to you.