The Flatshare


9781250295644_p0_v2_s550x406This was a delightful love story. An introvert and an extrovert are an unlikely couple, especially since they’ve never met each other face to face, and yet… When Tiffy realizes the true nature of her relationship with her ex, she begins to see the world, and her past, differently. Tiffy has answered an ad to be the flatmate of Leon, a palliative care nurse  who works nights in a hospice. Tiffy is an assistant editor at a crafts publishing company and works days. They’ll never even see each other! It’s like living alone.  Perfect arrangement. They communicate with each other through post-it notes left throughout the apartment. The way the personalities of Tiffy and Leon were revealed through the notes was well done. I found myself caring about the characters, and kind of mentally coaching each of them. I wanted them to find their respective happiness, and it was very gratifying when they did.


One of Leon’s patients, Mr. Prior, reminisced about an old love with whom he lost contact after the war. Leon began searching for this person, hoping to bring a bit of joy to    Mr. Prior before he died. The gesture was very touching- and time-consuming, as Leon traipsed all over England on weekends, trying to find the person. It is an example of beauty that happens when someone like Leon extended himself beyond the parameters of his job, to bring some joy in the life of  dying man. Beautiful.


Tiffy is a “panic baker.” When she’s sad or has a bad day, she bakes away the negativity with delicious, calorific goodness, some of which she, of course, leaves for Leon to enjoy.  Leon’s been eating it all, and feeling a little guilty for not reciprocating. In one of their ubiquitous Post-its, he thanked her for the oat bars he finished, and invited her to have the leftover mushroom stroganoff that he made.

4 Servings

8 ounces medium pasta shells
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1½ lb cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 large shallots, diced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 tsp chopped fresh thyme
2½ T all-purpose flour
2 C beef stock
1½ tsp Dijon mustard
¾ C sour cream
⅔ C freshly grated Parmesan
2 T chopped fresh parsley leaves

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions; drain well.

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add mushrooms and shallots, and cook, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are tender and browned, about 5-7 minutes; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Stir in garlic and thyme until fragrant, about 1 minute. Whisk in flour until lightly browned, about 1 minute. Gradually whisk in beef stock and Dijon. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until reduced and slightly thickened, about 4-5 minutes.

Stir in pasta and sour cream until heated through, about 1-2 minutes. Stir in Parmesan until melted, about 1 minute. Stir in parsley; season with salt and pepper, to taste.




This was delicious! Will definitely make it again and again.




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