Last summer whilst on holiday, I listened to the audiobook of The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary. Sat by the side of the pool under the glaring Ibiza sun – it was truly bliss. I’ve held off on buying The Switch as I’d fallen many books deep into a Fantasy spiral recently but after reading a couple of reviews that sang its praises, I treated myself to the hardcover and borrowed the audiobook of The Switch by Beth O’Leary from the library. I had high expectations for it, having loved The Flatshare so much and I’m happy to report that it was every bit as lovely as I anticipated. More so, if anything.
The Switch by Beth O’Leary
The Switch by Beth O’Leary follows the lives of Eileen and Leena Cotton – Eileen by name and nature, the two characters are different in many ways. Firstly, Leena is in her twenties and Eileen, her grandmother, saw her twenties a long time ago. Secondly, Eileen lives in the rural environment of the Yorkshire Dales whilst Leena has been living and working in London for a number of years. After losing her sister (and Eileen’s granddaughter), Leena finds herself filling the void and managing the grief by working way beyond her own mental capacities. Overworked, overtired and overwhelmed, Leena has a bit of an episode during a meeting that leaves her boss demanding that she take a 2 month paid sabbatical. Wanting to get out of London and away from the chaos of her working life, her grandmother and her agree to a ‘switch’ – a switch of homes, of lifestyles and hardest of all for Leena, a switch of mobile phones and leaving her boyfriend Ethan behind. With her Grandmother’s 1990s brick in hand, Leena moves up to Yorkshire to wind down and rediscover herself. She is forced to reconnect with her mother and she makes friends with her Grandmother’s groups of friends – all elderly, all positively wonderful. Except for Jackson, the local primary school teacher and all around hunk. Down in London, Eileen delves into the world of online dating after her husband left her for their dance teacher. A mix up to their lives like they could never have imagined.
A heartwarming and hilarious read by Beth O’Leary
I absolutely adored this story. I love how the story didn’t just focus on the present – and referred back to the grief that Eileen and her granddaughter were experiencing as a result of Carla’s death. I loved Eileen’s witty character – and her friends were equally so! Betsy was a fantastic addition to a strong cast of characters – with her own issues and her own worries to overcome, we are exposed to a whole range of difficulties that people come across in their daily lives. Not all problems are visible just by looking at someone – some issues run deep and happen behind closed doors. I loved the closeness that Leena holds with her friends and how easily they are able to take her side, no matter the circumstances.
An absolute delight of a novel – much recommended for someone looking for an easygoing and heartwarming lockdown read