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The Switch Paperback – 18 August 2020
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"The Switch brilliantly encompasses all the humor and whimsy of The Flatshare while delving into emotional topics like grief and the importance of watching out for neighbors. Charismatic Eileen stands out as the star of this witty, joyful show, illustrating that mature women need love, too."
--Booklist, starred review
--BookPage, starred review
"I am SO LOVING The Switch! It's so sweet and uplifting and SUCH a balm in these wretched times." --Marian Keyes, internationally bestselling author "Reading this felt like checking in on old friends. A bright, life-affirming story with beautifully rich characters." -Abby Jimenez, bestselling author of The Friend Zone "I loved it! It was a total joy to read. I loved the concept, the relationship between Eileen and Leena and the wonderful cast of friends both in London and Yorkshire. And it was such a breath of fresh air to read about a 79-year old woman dating (and even - hurrah! - having sex!) The exact kind of thing I believe we need to see more of in books and films. Eileen gives me great hope for the future! I shall be recommending it to my friends."
--Libby Page, author of The Lido Praise for Beth O'Leary:
"The new Jojo Moyes." --Cosmopolitan (UK) "Perfect for fans of Helen Hoang's The Kiss Quotient and Sally Thorne's The Hating Game." --Booklist "Add this to your summer reading list...Everyone needs to devour immediately. --USA Today "Set to become the romcom of the year...a Sleepless In Seattle for the 21st century." --Sunday Express Magazine (UK) "The novel equivalent of a cup of hot tea." --Refinery29
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
It got me frustrated at Ethan, excited for Tom, infuriated about Howard and totally in love with Arnold. And if a book evoked 1/3 those emotions about half the characters, I can it a good book. This one thought, it is just amazing!
We have two very different (maybe not) women, a grandmother, Eileen and her granddaughter, Leena needing a change.
Leena's sister, Carla passed away from cancer a few months back. This has left Leena feeling a terrible loss, her grief is consuming her and she is struggling at work. After having a panic attack during one of her presentations to a big client, her boss tells her to take two months off to relax.
Leena decides to visit the town her grandmother and mother lived in. This is also where Carla spent the last few months of her life. It's hard for Leena to visit her mother's home especially since Leena has not dealt with her grief and she's estranged from her mother.
Eileen is an active 79-year-old woman. She lives in Yorkshire. She is part of the community and helps everyone she can. Her husband walked out on her a few years back and she would like to find some male company. She is thinking of starting dating but she knows the pool of men in her age group is scarce in her town.
Then, Leena has a bright idea. Why don't they swap lives? Eileen should go to London, stay with her roommates and start dating while Leena stays in Yorkshire to help with all the activities her grandmother participates in and also to check on her mother.
Easy peasy, right?
The audio was fantastic. A job well done by both Daisy Edgar-Jones and Alison Steadman as the narrators.
Now in regards to the novel, I can honestly say that I adored these characters. Eileen was superb. Her parts were probably my favorite ones. She was classy, funny, interesting, helpful, a good friend and a great grandmother.
Leena was fun too. In the beginning, she was a mess but once she starts finding out more about herself, the stronger she became. I also love her romance with Jackson and her friendship with Arnold.
Kudos to Beth O'Leary for creating a cute story with memorable characters!
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.
So they decide to try a two-month swap.
Eileen will live in London and look for love. She’ll take Leena’s flat, and learn all about casual dating, swiping right, and city neighbors. Meanwhile Leena will look after everything in rural Yorkshire: Eileen’s sweet cottage and garden, her idyllic, quiet village, and her little neighborhood projects.
But stepping into one another’s shoes proves more difficult than either of them expected. Will swapping lives help Eileen and Leena find themselves…and maybe even find true love? In Beth O’Leary’s The Switch, it’s never too late to change everything….or to find yourself.
My Thoughts: The Switch was such a delightful way for these two women to change their lives, just by swapping them out for a couple of months. For Eileen, in the countryside, approaching her eightieth birthday, there would be few chances for the kind of adventure she needed.
For her granddaughter Leena, who was burned out at work and struggling with the loss of her sister Carla, a new perspective was sadly needed.
In alternating chapters, Leena and Eileen switch voices, sharing their thoughts and adventures as they navigate the lives they have adapted.
Each brought something unique to their new circumstances…and found something hidden within themselves. Can Eileen find love again? Will Leena discover that what she thought she wanted isn’t it at all?
I thoroughly enjoyed immersing myself in the lives of these characters, enjoying their discoveries and their deepest thoughts. 5 stars.
It was great to read about an older woman (Eileen is 79) living an empowered life. Overall, I enjoyed the story, although the romance angle was too contrived, and there wasn't any real heat between the players. I think this book could have done better as straight fiction without the romantic angle, but it was still good.