“These people. There’s such a fierceness to them, such a lovingness. When I got here, I thought their lives were small and silly, but I was wrong. They’re some of the biggest people I know”
Eileen is sick of being 79.
Leena’s tired of life in her twenties.
Maybe it’s time they swapped places…
When overachiever Leena Cotton is ordered to take a two-month sabbatical after blowing a big presentation at work, she escapes to her grandmother Eileen’s house for some overdue rest. Eileen is newly single and about to turn eighty. She’d like a second chance at love, but her tiny Yorkshire village doesn’t offer many eligible gentlemen.
Once Leena learns of Eileen’s romantic predicament, she proposes a solution: a two-month swap. Eileen can live in London and look for love. Meanwhile Leena will look after everything in rural Yorkshire. But with gossiping neighbours and difficult family dynamics to navigate up north, and trendy London flatmates and online dating to contend with in the city, stepping into one another’s shoes proves more difficult than either of them expected.
Leena learns that a long-distance relationship isn’t as romantic as she hoped it would be, and then there is the annoyingly perfect – and distractingly handsome – school teacher, who keeps showing up to outdo her efforts to impress the local villagers. Back in London, Eileen is a huge hit with her new neighbours, but is her perfect match nearer home than she first thought?
Firstly, I want to say thank you to Netgalley and Quercus Books for sending me an e-arc of this book. The Switch is on of my most anticipated books of the year, The Flat Share was my favourite of all time last year so this excited me so much!
The Switch did not disappoint. I really did enjoy this book. I was fairly nervous going into this book, after loving The Flat Share so much I was worried that this was going to disappoint me. I’m so so glad that it didn’t.
I would like to say that before you go into this book please be aware of the trigger warnings.
TW: cancer, death, grief, domestic abuse and adultery.
I’m not going to discuss these at length because none of the above are problematic. I understand that they will effect different people in different ways, and that they need to be handled with care however I can assure you that they are dealt with in such a delicate way. Each and every one of the above topics are dealt with in the sensitive way that they deserve.
I don’t really know where to start. I think Beth’s ability to create such brilliant, loveable but also relatable characters really helps me to love her books so much. Within a few chapters I have built such a strong emotional connection to them, I just feel like they are part of my life. I can feel everything they are feeling and I share their emotions. I feel like this is a really unique skill to have and one which I wish more authors had. Eileen and Leena, god, where do I start! How amazing are they? I literally love them both so much, especially Eileen. What a wonderful lady. Can I adopt her? Eileen, come and live with me please … we can kick the husband out, we don’t need him! All of the side characters, in the form of Eileen and Leena’s friends were also a delight … even Albert!
The Switch is the kind of book that you will fall head over heels in love with. Once you pick it up you will not want to put it down. It is so uplifting and charming, a book very difficult to review as no words that I can find give my feelings any kind of justice. I loved the humour in this book, I loved the relationships, I loved everything.
Did I love it just as much as The Flat Share? No, probably not. But it came super close and I couldn’t wish for anything more from this book. I really don’t know what Beth O’Leary is going to come up with next!