The Switch is a heart-warming contemporary novel with some romance, but it’s about much more than falling in love. It follows a Grandma – Granddaughter duo who have both lost their way a little through the tragic loss of a family member. The two decide to swap places for two months which forms the basis of the plot.
Star rating: 5 stars
After Leena loses her sister to cancer, she’s falling apart and using work to escape. But once anxiety driven disaster (oh Leena, I relate), her boss sends her on two months leave. Eileen, Leena’s Grandma, is single after her useless husband cheated on her. Now it’s time to move on, but the dating scene in rural Yorkshire really isn’t looking all that appealing.
When Leena visits her Grandma, the two decide to switch places – Leena will take over Eileen’s duties in the small village community, and Eileen will live with Leena’s flatmates in London. During the two month life swap, both women learn new things about themselves and each other, and bring a different perspective to the new people they befriend.
I absolutely adored both points of view. This is a really hopeful family story, and I loved the close relationship between Leena and Eileen. The side characters are also wonderful – both the oldies in Eileen’s village that Leena gets to know, and Leena’s friends back in London who are charmed by Eileen.
The romances in the book are also really, really sweet. I saw both coming from a mile away but it was so, so cute. I loved how the romance didn’t dominate the story though, there is so much more to it than that including the importance of family and friendship, and learning to live with loss and grief. There’s even a domestic abuse story, that shows that abuse is not age-confined in the slightest.
Overall, a charming book that made me laugh and cry, that has humour amongst it’s serious moments. I honestly think most people would enjoy this story, it reminded me of my own family during a time when I can’t visit them.
Have you read any Beth O’Leary books? After enjoying The Switch and The Flatshare, I’m really excited for The Road Trip.