The No-Show by Beth O’Leary | Book Review | #TheNoShow

The funny, heart-breaking and uplifting new novel from the bestselling author of The Flatshare.

Three women. Three dates. One missing man…

8.52 a.m. Siobhan is looking forward to her breakfast date with Joseph. She was surprised when he suggested it – she normally sees him late at night in her hotel room. Breakfast on Valentine’s Day surely means something … so where is he?

2.43 p.m. Miranda’s hoping that a Valentine’s Day lunch with Carter will be the perfect way to celebrate her new job. It’s a fresh start and a sign that her life is falling into place: she’s been dating Carter for five months now and things are getting serious. But why hasn’t he shown up?

6.30 p.m. Joseph Carter agreed to be Jane’s fake boyfriend at an engagement party. They’ve not known each other long but their friendship is fast becoming the brightest part of her new life in Winchester. Joseph promised to save Jane tonight. But he’s not here…

Meet Joseph Carter. That is, if you can find him.

The No-Show is the brilliantly funny, heart-breaking and joyful new novel from Beth O’Leary about dating, and waiting, and the ways love can find us. An utterly extraordinary tearjerker of a book, this is O’Leary’s most ambitious novel yet.


“…..Everyone is staring. Siobhan flicks those shining blond argument-starting locks over her shoulder and turns her face to the window. Chin up. Tits out. Legs crossed.”

Three women, all very different in personality but with one thing in common. They have all been stood up by Joseph Carter.

Siobhan, a life coach from Dublin. Miranda – a tree surgeon and Jane, a volunteer at a charity shop. All have dates arranged with Carter on Valentines Day but he doesn’t show. As we learn their story and how they figure in his life, it becomes clear that the elusive Mr Carter is not quite what he seems.

The author very skilfully weaves their stories together, leaving just enough intrigue to be teased out gradually. I liked all three women but my favourite was probably Miranda, just because she had guts and spirit – and I’m in awe of anyone of who can climb trees! Siobhan with her fake fur coat and high heels didn’t take any nonsense from anyone and finally there is Jane with her routines, clearly traumatised by something in her past.  Whilst I felt so much empathy for the women, I was conflicted in my feelings toward Joseph. I really really wanted to dislike him, it’s bad enough to stand up one person, but to have three women on the go and treat them so badly! But – (there is a but), in other respects he seemed such a kind and caring guy.

What I thought was going to be a straight forward romantic story with a cad at its heart turned into something different and unpredictable. With its multi layers and themes which included mental health issues in its various forms, there is much more to The No-Show than you might think and I thoroughly enjoyed the surprising journey the book took me on. There are funny bits, sad bits and, of course some romance.  I have to mention the supporting characters who also made the book for me – Siobhan’s friends, the tree guys and Jane’s friend Aggie – all superb creations.

The No-Show is my first time with Beth O’Leary’s books and I will definitely be coming back for others.


Beth O’Leary is a Sunday Times bestselling author whose novels have been translated into more than thirty languages. Her debut, THE FLATSHARE, sold over half a million copies and changed her life completely. Her second novel, THE SWITCH, has been optioned for film by Amblin Partners, Steven Spielberg’s production company. Beth writes her books in the Hampshire countryside with a very badly behaved golden retriever for company. 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).

Follow the author:

Website | Facebook | Goodreads | Instagram | Bookshop.Org.UK | Amazon UK


4 thoughts on “The No-Show by Beth O’Leary | Book Review | #TheNoShow”

I do love to read any comments 😊

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.