Title: The Switch
Author: Beth O’Leary
Publication: 28th April 2020 by Hachette Australia
Genre: Fiction – contemporary, romance, chick-lit
The Blurb from Goodreads:
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?
My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
My Review: With the release of her second novel, Beth O’Leary has easily scooped herself up a position in my fave authors list.
I adored her debut, The Flatshare, but I loved The Switch even more. And actually, even though I have already read it I will probably buy a physical copy on its release just to keep on my shelf…I loved it that much.
So what did I love about it so much?
Poor Leena….overworked, mentally and physically exhausted, grieving the loss of her sister to cancer, has an anxiety attack at work (oh how I can relate) and is essentially forced to take a two-month sabbatical. Lost, not knowing how to fill her days without work (oh how I don’t relate… 😉 ) she decides to visit her grandmother…..
Eileen….disenchanted in old age, lonely and looking for love.
When the two come together, they decide to help each other out by switching places….not only swapping houses but also exchanging phones, laptops, friends and lives. While Leena takes over Eileen’s role in The Neighborhood Watch and The May Day Festival, Eileen takes up internet dating and creates the Silver Shoreditchers’ Social Club. Laughs, adventure and love ensue.
While I loved both Eileen and Leena – two wonderful, well-meaning human beings dealing with their grief the best way they can, fiercely protective of each other and honest in their flaws; the secondary characters were just as wonderful with real backstories and flaws of their own.
Written exactly as I expected, with Beth O’Leary’s signature heartfelt style, The Switch is a charming, warm and life-affirming story. A little predicatble, particularly when it came to the romance, but oh so sweet! It was everything I wanted in a novel and will be a definite re-read.
With thanks to the publisher for this eARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.