The Switch by Beth O’Leary
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?
You guys! I am trying to formulate my thoughts for this book without giving any spoilers. The Switch reminds me of a Hallmark movie without Christmas time being the setting, if that makes any sense.
After reading and loving The Flatshare, I couldn’t wait to see what Beth O’Leary came out with next. When I found out it was The Switch, I was so impatient I ordered my hardcover copy from Book Depository (and I actually love the UK edition)! Then, Netgalley offered the Switch as an audiobook option, and I knew it was a sign that I just had to read it.
Side note, if you are a netgalley user, I had a lot of issues with the app, which is understandably so as it is new, so there are a lot of bugs they need to fix. That being said, my audiobook kept freezing and skipping/jumping chapters, so I ultimately found it faster to just read the book, because I didn’t want to stop, so just a fair warning in case you’re having issues with the app as well!
I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t tell you (time and again) how much of a sucker I am for dual POVs. Being able to read it from Eileen and Leena’s perspective was so refreshing and engaging. I really loved Eileen, Leena, the residents of the Yorkshire village, and Leena’s friends. My only complaint is I wish I could read more about them!
The Switch is such a sweet and charming book. While there was romance, much like Flatshare, it was not the overall theme of the book. There are themes of forgiveness, grieving, domestic abuse, infidelity, and moving on woven throughout the book and that added so much more depth to the story.
That being said, look no further if you’re looking for a book that will capture your heart almost instantaneously. Grab yourself a copy on Book Depository, or it releases August 18th in the US, and make a cup of tea, sit back, and relax and enjoy life with this book.
Many thanks to Netgalley and Macmillan Audio for providing me with an audiobook in exchange for an honest review.
Title: The Switch
Author: Beth O’Leary
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Romance
Publication Date: August 18, 2020 (US release date)