Book ten of my summer reading challenge and an author I’ve been looking forward to for a while.
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 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?
This is an author that I have been looking forward to picking up for a while as I always hear great things about her books and thankfully with this book it was spot on, it was very feel-good and fun.
I loved the concept of this, that Eileen and Leena swap lives to try and get them out of the rut they have been in and to give them a chance to process everything that has happened in their family, Eileen is going to London and Leena is going to Hamleigh. Each chapter switches between the POV of the two women and I have to say I definitely preferred Eileen’s chapters because she was on more of an adventure but I loved that Leena had more growth as a character, so the story balanced itself well.
It was so much fun to follow Eileen trying to navigate her way through internet dating, getting a second lease on life and trying to create a sense of community in Shoreditch. I just loved her attitude that nothing was too hard if you set your mind to it and that she fell into place easily with Leena’s friends and then started steering them in better directions too, you could tell that she is the kind of person who wants to help other people.
It was great to see Leena start to slowly work through her issues, take a break from her job and start to find her place within the local community, you can tell she is very much out of her depth at first but slowly she starts to fit in. The Hamleigh residents were all wonderful, sometimes stubborn and set in their ways and most definitely gossips but wonderful all the same, there is one in particular who certainly helps Leena more than others and it’s nice for her to have someone to go to when she needs it.
My only small annoyance with this book was there is a situation that arises between Leena and her boyfriend and I just felt like with what happens and with all the growth that her character has been through, that it was an unusual reaction. It just didn’t sit quite right with me and I know I’m being vague but I don’t want to go too much into detail, I think that the same outcome could have been reached without Leena taking so many steps back in her progress.
The Switch is such a lovely heart-warming book to read, a book that will leave you feeling joyful, and I am very much looking forward to picking up more of Beth O’Leary’s books in the future.