By Beth O'Leary
Funny, heartwarming and a joy that shows age is just a number when it comes to living.
Published by Quercus Editions Ltd 2020
Book Review no spoilers I swear!!
Before I start this. I wrote this review on Sunday and was about to publish it when my laptop crashed and I lost it. It was the perfect review and so when I came to rewrite the review I forgot what I said. Anyway since then I have ordered a new laptop as this one is very outdated, not that you needed to know that!
With that shall we?
This was exactly what I needed to read. If you're new to this blog then welcome! If not then you might remember that a while ago I reviewed The Flatshare by Beth O'Leary which was her debut novel and a book I absolutely adored! I won't lie, I was a little nervous that The Switch wouldn't be as good as the debut but ladies and gents I can confidently say that The Switch was just as good, if not better.
But before I tell you how fabulous this book was to read, perhaps I should give you the blurb. Give you an idea of what its about.
Leena is too young to be stuck.
Eileen is too old to start over.
It's time for the switch.
Ordered to take a two-month sabbatical after blowing a big presentation at work, Leena escapes to her grandmother Eileen's house for some overdue rest.
Newly single and about to turn eighty, Eileen would like a second chance at love. But her tiny Yorkshire village doesn't offer much eligible gentlemen...
So Leena proposes a solution: a two-month swap. Eileen can live in London and look for love, and Leena will look after everything in rural Yorkshire.
But with a rabble of unruly OAPs to contend with, as well as the annoyingly perfect-and distractingly handsome- local schoolteacher, Leena learns that switching lives isn't straightforward.
Back in London, Eileen is a huge hit with her new neighbours, and with the online dating scene. But is her perfect match nearer to home than she first thought?
Well what can I say other than I chuffin' loved this book! The characters, the story line the whole thing was pure joy to read. It was exactly what I needed.
The story of Leena and Eileen is one full of ups and downs and plenty of mischief. The ups are hilarious and full of warmth while the downs are thought provoking and authentic.
Leena is a 29 year old head-strong woman who has thrown herself into her work in order to avoid dealing with the loss of a loved one and her strained relationship with her mum. So when she's advised to take two months off she isn't exactly thrilled with the idea. Luckily she has her friends (Bee and Fitz are my fav!) and charming boyfriend, Ethan, to support her and the escape to Yorkshire is a welcomed change from the busy streets of London.
Eileen on the other hand is what I would call a Super Gran as she refuses to act her age. Getting to read how Eileen thinks and sees the world is pure joy as she takes us on this journey of living life to the fullest and the benefits of living in the moment. I loved how Eileen was portrayed as she is anything but a stereotype of your average 79 year old and her shenanigans in London had me laughing.
While the story follows the two women it also explores other characters and deals with a lot of difficult topics such as grief, parenthood and abuse. However O'Leary highlights these topics through the use of humour and warmth showing the development of the characters. Another thing which was great was the interaction of the old folks with Leena and how the young people interacted with Eileen. It was interesting and refreshing to see how the first impressions of the side-characters differed from there personalities, expressing that first impressions don't always define a person. Something a lot of us forget when meeting new people.
As a whole I bloody loved the book, especially with it being set partly in my home county and the Yorkshire dialect in the book made me smile. Especially the part where a certain southern tries to imitate a Yorkshire accent, except in my case a lot of people say 'noooooooo' really long. I mean I don't sound like that *cough cough*. Regardless of that this was a very beautiful book by Beth O'Leary, a book which captured my heart from chapter one. The only downside to this book was that there wasn't more!
Anyway, I better leave it there for if I carry on fangirl-ing over this book it may lead to spoilers.
Rating: 5* out of 5. (It maybe in my top 10 books of 2020)
After all tomorrow is another day spent reading,
Till next time,
The Flatshare and The Switch are both available to buy from Amazon but remember to support your local bookstore if and where you can!