The Switch – Can a book be too nice?
The funny and uplifting new novel from the bestselling author of THE FLATSHARE.
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?
Duffy’s Thoughts On The Switch
If you follow my blog, you’ll know I’m a bit of a ‘murderino’ and love a suspenseful thriller with a killer plot twist. So, you may think that The Switch is a bit of a departure from my usual favourite genre , and it was, with good reason.
I had read a couple of really good thrillers back to back with some confronting themes, and with the oppressiveness of constant coronavirus news which seemed inescapable, I wanted to escape for a bit into a book which was completely different, one which was lighthearted and positive. The Switch fit that bill.
Leena lives in London and is on a trajectory for an incredible year, except for the fact her worst critic (her inner voice) keeps telling her she needs to work harder which leads to burn out and some forced leave which feels like the end of the world.
Leena’s grandmother Eileen lives in a quaint country village but keeps herself busy with various community projects. She has been on her own a little while and is just beginning to think about finding a new partner, because pensioners seek love too.
The family ties that bind are Leena’s Mother Marian and the memory of Leena’s sister, Carla, who sadly passed away from cancer. The choices made with Carla’s treatment and the searing pain of grief have strained the relationship between Marian and daughter Leena. Could a house swap between grandmother and granddaughter switch things up and bring the Cotton women back together again?
The Flatshare was a huge hit and I was intrigued to see what The Switch had to offer. Beth O’Leary’s writing has a warmth to it and the love for her character shines through. It’s a positive, lighthearted read and a pleasant distraction for anyone looking to escape into a book and lift their mood. If you enjoy The Vicar of Dibley and loved The Lido or anything by Leanne Lovegrove, you’ll enjoy The Switch.
For me, whilst The Switch was a pleasant visit to the Yorkshire countryside, it was just a bit too nice. I’ll be heading back to the underbelly of murder, mystery and dark plots soon enough!