August 18, 2020
The Switch by Beth O’Leary
Genre/Categories: Women’s Contemporary Fiction, Romance
*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.
Would you switch places with your grandmother?
Grandmother Eileen and granddaughter Leena, both dissatisfied with their lives for different reasons, impulsively decide to swap places for two months. Seventy-nine-year-old Eileen moves into Leena’s London flat and twenty-something Leena escapes to her grandmother’s small home in a tiny rural Yorkshire village. They even switch phones! Eileen experiments with online dating and easily makes friends with Leena’s young flatmates. Leena tries to fulfill her grandmother’s responsibilities on various committees and attempts to gain credibility with the community.
Thanks, #netgalley @macmillanaudio for a complimentary ALC of #theswitch. Opinions in this review are entirely my own.
Writing: I always appreciate snappy writing! The Switch is engaging and the complications that the characters face are unique and not too predictable. The story is told from dual viewpoints and we follow two separate timelines in alternating chapters.
Characters: It’s refreshing to have characters that include a spunky mature lady! In fact, the grandmother has a wonderful positive attitude, is definitely a “people person,” and sees most of the romantic action in the story. I think, though, that she is portrayed as being too young for her age at points. Online dating and looking for romance at 79 might work better if she were 69. Climbing a tree at 79? Not very realistic. The grandmother has a more entertaining storyline and the Type A granddaughter who is forced into a two-month sabbatical from her job has a more realistic storyline in which she contemplates some thoughtful changes in her life. I appreciate that both characters are fearless and determined in their own ways.
Plot: The swapping of lives lends itself to many entertaining circumstances including the grandmother growing accustomed to a smartphone and an online dating website and the granddaughter experiencing small-town life, quirky characters, and committee politics. I think both storylines are compelling and they intersect briefly at the beginning and end.
Themes: Poignant themes include friendship, grief, second chances, romance, granddaughter/grandmother relationship, mental health, and difficult domestic issues.
Recommended: If you’re looking for a light and entertaining women’s fiction read, this could be a great read for you. Recommended for fans of rom-com, light romance, and HEA. The Switch makes an ideal vacation, weekend, or escapist read. Book clubs looking for lighter fiction might enjoy this story.
Content Considerations: an incidence of spousal abuse intervention with a secondary character, grief over the loss of a family member
My Rating: 3.5 Stars
Meet the Author, Beth O’Leary
Beth O’Leary worked in children’s publishing before becoming a full-time author and wrote her first novel, The Flatshare, on her train journey to and from work.
If she’s not at her desk, you’ll usually find her curled up somewhere with a book, a cup of tea, and several woolly jumpers (whatever the weather).
Is The Switch on your TBR or have you read it?
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TTT: 10 Books That Make Me Smile
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Unless explicitly stated that they are free, all books that I review have been purchased by me or borrowed from the library.
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Fab review Carol1 I loved this book on audio, especially Eileen, she was brilliant!
Thanks Nicki! I should have mentioned about the audio!
I look forward to my copy arriving soon. This sounds like an uplifting read. I also really want to read The Flatshare.
Interesting read. Nice review! 🙂
An interesting idea though probably one I would find rather too light. Agree with you that it makes a change to have a novel with a positive portrayal of older age. I bet if the author had worked a bit harder she could have come up with a way of showing that spirit of adventure in a less obvious way
There were def some eye rolling moments but overall enjoyable!
I listened on audio and enjoyed it. I think i liked her first book better but I am definitely looking forward to the next one!
I haven’t read her first one.
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