The Switch by Beth O’Leary
‘SO CHARMING, SO SWEET AND SO LOVELY’ MARIAN KEYES
Leena is too young to feel stuck.
Eileen is too old to start over.
Maybe it’s time for The Switch…
Ordered to take a two-month sabbatical after blowing a big presentation at work, Leena escapes to her grandmother Eileen’s house for some overdue rest. Newly single and about to turn eighty, Eileen would like a second chance at love. But her tiny Yorkshire village doesn’t offer many eligible gentlemen… So Leena proposes a solution: a two-month swap. Eileen can live in London and look for love, and L Leena will look after everything in rural Yorkshire.
But with a rabble of unruly OAPs to contend with, as well as the annoyingly perfect – and distractingly handsome – local schoolteacher, Leena learns that switching lives isn’t straightforward. Back in London, Eileen is a huge hit with her new neighbours, and with the online dating scene. But is her perfect match nearer to home than she first thought?
I’ve heard so many good things about The Switch so I was excited to read it and completely agree that this is an amazing book.
The dual narrative is shared between Eileen and her granddaughter Leena. Although they are decades apart age-wise and living in different parts of the country, both find themselves at difficult times in their lives. Leena is forced to take two months paid leave from her high flying position in the city and Eileen suddenly finds herself single for the first time in her life.
Leena comes up with a plan that for two months only, they should completely swap lives. She travels to Hamleigh-In-Harksdale to take over Eileen’s projects including the Neighbourhood Watch (in a village with no crime), dog walking duties, and running community projects. This gives Eileen the opportunity to join the dating game, with plenty of over seventies gentleman to choose from, and a chance to explore the big city of London.
It’s the characters that make this such an entertaining read. I loved how they all interacted with each other, the versatility of both Elaine and Leena in their different roles, and how they both grow throughout the story. The bond between them is enchanting and the parallels obvious. They both share incredible heartache but a mutual zest for life is also beautifully portrayed.
I loved the humour, the sense of adventure, and how the story portrays that age is just a number. This is perfectly demonstrated by seventy-nine-year-old Elaine, who is meddlesome, assertive but totally loveable. The story is overflowing with eccentric characters, unexpected romance, and heartwarming moments.
I really enjoyed The Switch and will now be seeking out Beth O’Leary’s future novels and The Flat Share which was published in 2019.
Thank you to Quercus Books via NetGalley for a copy of the book which I have reviewed honestly.
Thank you for reading.