The Flat Share by Beth O'Leary
Hachette, 2019. ISBN: 9781787474420.
(Age: 16+) Highly recommended. This book was a surprise. Initially the story appeared to be a light read. The story begins with Tiffy searching for a flat. She is a quirky editor for a publisher of DIY and craft books. Tiffy accepts an offer to share a flat with Leon Twomey, a palliative care nurse who works nights. Because of work commitment's they will never be in the flat at the same time - and share the one bed.
Beth's writing is impeccable as she artfully reveals the back stories for Tiffy and Leon. Through posits and episodes of stalking the reader begins to understand that Tiffy is recovering from emotional abuse that includes gaslighting. The reader journeys with Tiffy as she is supported by Leon and her friends to come to the realisation that her sense of reality has been skewed by her previous relationship. The supporting characters provide robust clarifications of boundaries within relationships, cleverly delivering a perceptive analysis of intimate relationships. This is where the book moves from being a light romantic comedy to being an insightful exploration of abuse and injustice presented from the point of view of hope and compassion.
This funny and uplifting debut novel from Beth O'Leary is a must read.