If ever there were a time to read a book that feels like a giant hug, it's now, and The Switch by best-selling author, Beth O’Leary, is just that.
If ever there were a time to read a book that feels like a giant hug, it’s now, and The Switch by best-selling author, Beth O’Leary, is just that.
Full of heart, warmth and laugh out loud brilliance, it’s an unputdownable book you’ll race through but feel utterly gutted to finish. Aren’t they the best kinda books?
Find out how the team rated this month’s book club in the gallery below!
When overachiever Leena Cotton is ordered to take a two-month sabbatical after blowing a big presentation at work, she escapes to her grandmother Eileen’s house for some overdue rest. Eileen is newly single and about to turn eighty. She’d like a second chance at love, but her tiny Yorkshire village doesn’t offer many eligible gentlemen.
Once Leena learns of Eileen’s romantic predicament, she proposes a solution: a two-month swap. Eileen can live in London and look for love. Meanwhile Leena will look after everything in rural Yorkshire. But with gossiping neighbours and difficult family dynamics to navigate up north, and trendy London flatmates and online dating to contend with in the city, stepping into one another’s shoes proves more difficult than either of them expected.
Leena learns that a long-distance relationship isn’t as romantic as she hoped it would be, and then there is the annoyingly perfect – and distractingly handsome – school teacher, who keeps showing up to outdo her efforts to impress the local villagers. Back in London, Eileen is a huge hit with her new neighbours, but is her perfect match nearer home than she first thought?
So, I think this might be my favourite book we’ve read so far! Bursting with warmth, character and heart, every page felt like a soothing cup of hot choc. Told through the dual narratives of Leena and her 79-year-old grandmother Eileen (what a legend), The Switch is an endearing and life-affirming story about all the life there is to live, even after a loss. I particularly loved the dynamic between Eileen and Leena’s friends. Her character is such a hoot! It’s the perfect reading material for these anxious times and it just goes to show what good can come from stepping outside of your comfort zone. I already miss Eileen Cotton, she captured my heart with her sass and lust for life and I can only hope I’m that entertaining when I’m her age. As O’Leary says, I think I’ve been well and truly ‘Eileened’.
Would you recommend it? Yes
Would you read it again? Yes
So this month I decided to tackle the dreadful job of getting out every piece of clothing I own and sorting it out. A job that would usually involve sweat, tears and heap of whining was possibly one of my favourite days of the month because of The Switch. I popped on my audible when I started and time FLEW by. It’s read by the AMAZING Daisy Edgar-Jones (Normal People) and the ICONIC Alison Steadman (Pam from Gavin and Stacey) so I knew I’d be in for a treat and BOY was I. This book has literally everything, so many different types of humour, really well-rounded characters, what I would consider as twists and turns because I never saw things coming, and generally really good pacing that kept me listening for two days straight. it tackled important themes like domestic abuse, loss and the grief that comes with it, and anxiety which make it even more relatable as I’m sure you will identify with at least one character. I loved Leena and Eileen’s relationship, their sassy dry sense of humour and the sheer productivity both of them possess. Truly such a warm lovely book to gobble up in the midst of the current pandemics, a wonderful escape. I’ve already bought Beth O’Leary’s The Flat Share and hope it’s just as brilliant.
Would you recommend it? Absolutely, go and read it!
Would you read it again? I Would definitely listen again
The switch was just what I needed this month for the book club pick. I decided to listen on audible as I was a bit more limited for time this month and it meant I could listen on the go and whilst doing things around the house. Daisy Edgar Jones is my new girl crush after her role in normal people, so it was nice hearing her play the character Leena alongside another classic and very firm favourite actress of mine, Alison Steadman who played Leenas grandmother Eileen. When Eileen finds herself single and ready to mingle at 79 years old she trades places with her 29 year old granddaughter who is living in London. This is such a gloriously funny, warm and wholesome story with a healthy dollop of romance and real-ness. I found the characters so interesting and enjoyable and the book felt like pure escapism at such an uneasy time. This also re-ignited my love of listening to audiobooks, the actresses did an incredible job at capturing my attention and telling the story! I loved Beth’s writing style and dialogue and will be downloading The Flat Share (her debut novel that I’ve not read) immediately!
Would read and listen to again!
I really enjoyed O’Leary’s first novel THE FLATSHARE so I was excited to get started on THE SWITCH. This was such a fun, easy read, and I loved getting the perspectives of the two very different characters in Leena and Eileen. Beth’s warm and engaging writing style is a joy to dive into. I think I particularly enjoyed Eileen’s perspective of an older woman enjoying a long-overdue adventure in London, and although the plot was quite predictable and some of the relationships a bit underdeveloped, it also delivered everything I was hoping from it, so it didn’t bother me in the least. I’m also quite keen to ditch my London life for a gorgeous village in rural Yorkshire – anyone want to SWITCH?
Would you recommend it? Definitely for the beach
Would you read it again? I don’t need to read it again
This is exactly the book I needed to read right now. Pure joyful, wholesome escapism at its finest. I absolutely fell in love with the characters immediately and the author does a great job at setting the scene and back story straight away which is great for me as I really need a book to hook me in from the first paragraph, this definitely did. The book deals with a lot of real emotions and topics; grief and loss, anxiety and anger, love and family but it never feels too heavy and there is also a lot of humour thrown in to keep a very happy-go-lucky feel throughout. I love Eileen in particular, she is literally the character we all need in our lives right now. Determined to live her best life at 79 and not give up looking for love in a 21st-century world, I was rooting for her the whole way.