Summer of Love Week 9: The Switch by Beth O’Leary

Posted August 19, 2021 by Lillian in Reviews / 0 Comments

Each week Stephanie, Lenore and I will be featuring a Summer of Love review on our blogs.  If you missed Stephanie’s post from Monday, check it out at Once Upon a Chapter.  If you missed Lenore’s post from Tuesday, check it out at Celebrity Readers.

Happy Thursday y’all! Today I’m featuring an audiobook that I listened to early this year and just fell in love with both the author and the story. While it is not your typical romance and most likely falls under women’s fiction, both the main characters (grandmother and granddaughter) get a happily ever after which satisfied this romance lover. Check out the rest of this week’s post below:

Week 10 kicks off Monday on Once Upon a Chapter 🙂


I received this book via Netgalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of this review.

Summer of Love Week 9: The Switch by Beth O’LearyThe Switch by Beth O'Leary
Narrator: Daisy Edgar-Jones, Alison Steadman
Published by Macmillan Audio on 2020-08-08
Length: 10 hours and 11 minutes
Reviewing eARC from Netgalley
Reading Challenges: #NGEW2020, 2020 Audiobook Challenge, 2020 New Release Challenge, COYER All Year 2020

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 long-overdue rest.

Eileen is newly single and about to turn 80. 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.

I adored this book! The Switch by Beth O'Leary is a story about two women looking for change. Leena and Grandma Eileen’s switch comes after Leena is given a two-month sabbatical from her job and Eileen’s husband leaves her for the dance instructor. While I wouldn’t put this firmly in the romance category, it’s more women’s fiction, it does offer not one but two happily-ever-afters that satisfy this romance-lover’s heart.

Leena is living in London, putting everything she has into her career. After the death of her younger sister two years prior, Leena struggles with grief, depression, and anxiety. When an important meeting at work brings everything boiling to the surface, Leena’s boss gives her two months of mandatory leave. Not sure what to do with herself, she finds her way to her grandmother’s home in a small village in Yorkshire. One thing leads to another and before she knows it, Leena is agreeing to swapping lives with her grandmother. 

I love Eileen! Eileen reminds me of my great-grandmother who passed away several years ago. Fiercely independent and the matron of the family, she has a truck load of responsibility and does it all with a smile. For the last few years while mourning her granddaughter’s death, she’s been attempting to help her own daughter with her grief and Leena as well. In the midst of this, she’s had to deal with divorce. Now well into her 70s, she’s lonely and maybe ready to get back into the dating scene. Switching places with Leena could solve two problems: reconciliation between mother and daughter and Eileen could find a beau.

Alternating the chapters from both women’s perspectives allows the readers to see each character in a different light. I loved seeing Leena through Eileen’s eyes as it allowed me to understand her better. Leena thinks she’s doing well, coping with her grief and anxiety, and yet seeing what Eileen sees you realize she isn’t. Same with how Leena sees Eileen. I also love the narrators, Daisy Edgar-Jones and Alison Steadman. They bring the characters to life with subtle inflections and pacing.

Overall, I really enjoyed The Switch. Both Leena and Eileen are wonderful characters. I liked seeing the juxtaposition of Eileen on the dating scene and Leena being a “parent” to her. Their relationship is wonderful, and I loved how the story was resolved. If you are a fan of women’s fiction, I highly recommend it.

About Beth O'Leary

Beth O'Leary is a Sunday Times bestselling author whose novels have been translated into more than thirty languages. Her debut, THE FLATSHARE, sold over half a million copies and changed her life completely. Her second novel, THE SWITCH, has been optioned for film by Amblin Partners, Steven Spielberg's production company. Beth writes her books in the Hampshire countryside with a very badly behaved golden retriever for company. 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).

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