The Switch [Book Review]

August 18, 2020

The Switch by Beth O’Leary

The Switch by Beth O'Leary (cover) Image: two scenes of a young woman walking a dog in the country and another of an older woman standing in front of a building

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.

My Thoughts:

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

twinkle-twinkle-little-startwinkle-twinkle-little-startwinkle-twinkle-little-starhalf twinkle-twinkle-little-star

The Switch by Beth o'Leary (Image: two of a young woman walking a dog in the country and another of an older woman standing outside a building)

The Switch Information Here

Meet the Author, Beth O’Leary

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?


TTT: 10 Lighter Reads in Stressful times

5 Light Women’s Fiction Reads

TTT: 10 Books That Make Me Smile

Happy Reading Book Buddies!

“Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading.”
~Rainer Maria Rilke

“I love the world of words, where life and literature connect.”
~Denise J Hughes

“Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad ones.”
~Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

“I read because books are a form of transportation, of teaching, and of connection! Books take us to places we’ve never been, they teach us about our world, and they help us to understand human experience.”
~Madeleine Riley, Top Shelf Text

Let’s Get Social!

Thank you for visiting and reading today! I’d be honored and thrilled if you choose to enjoy and follow along (see subscribe or follow option), promote, and/or share my blog. Every share helps us grow.

Find me at:

***Blogs posts may contain affiliate links. This means that at no extra cost to you, I can earn a small percentage of your purchase price.

Unless explicitly stated that they are free, all books that I review have been purchased by me or borrowed from the library.

Book Cover and author photos are credited to Amazon or an author’s (or publisher’s) website.



  1. 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

  2. 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!

Leave a Reply