The Switch
Eileen is sick of being 79.Leena's tired of life in her twenties.Maybe it's time they swapped places...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?

The Switch Details

TitleThe Switch
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseApr 30th, 2020
PublisherQuercus
Rating
GenreRomance, Contemporary, Fiction

The Switch Review

  • Emer (A Little Haze)
    January 1, 1970
    Last year (Jan 2019) I had the good fortune of reading Beth O'Leary's debut novel, The Flatshare, as an ARC from NetGalley and it was a book that really gave me great hope in her abilities as a writer because she managed to find a fresh and unique spin on the romantic dramedy genre of fiction...And with this new novel The Switch she has once again shown that she is a brilliant storyteller in this area. I loved this book. Utterly loved it. It gave me all the feels I could ever have hoped for and Last year (Jan 2019) I had the good fortune of reading Beth O'Leary's debut novel, The Flatshare, as an ARC from NetGalley and it was a book that really gave me great hope in her abilities as a writer because she managed to find a fresh and unique spin on the romantic dramedy genre of fiction...And with this new novel The Switch she has once again shown that she is a brilliant storyteller in this area. I loved this book. Utterly loved it. It gave me all the feels I could ever have hoped for and I genuinely squeaked with joy when I closed my kindle on the last page. It's rare that a writer comes along that knows how to marry memorable characters with a warm, inviting storyline and that also knows how to sprinkle it with the right touch of both bittersweet emotion and romance. But that's exactly what I got from The Switch.I completely lost myself in this book: I giggled like a little schoolgirl, I brushed away delicate tears.... I just loved it! Utter feel-good central!!!! The premise follows a grandmother, Eileen Cotton and her granddaughter Leena who agree to swap lives for a number of months. Seventy something year old Eileen needs to jazz up her life and find a new love after splitting from her difficult husband Wade. So she comes to London and moves into her granddaughter Leena's flat complete with her flatmates Fitz and heavily pregnant Martha. Leena's best friend Bee also becomes besties with Eileen and together with this cast of characters Eileen gets involved in the world of online dating, but more importantly, she brings the sense of community she had in her Yorkshire village to London and makes it her mission to bring together isolated older Londoners to form a little club of sorts. This might sound a little like something you've read before but honestly it's the characters that make this book. In Eileen Cotton O'Leary has created a most lively and charming character. She has this wonderful sparkle and joie de vivre that practically bounces off the page and I was 100% invested in her storyline. Definitely going to feature in my list of favourite fictional characters of 2020 for sure!So while Eileen is off living in London her granddaughter Leena moves into her home in her small village in the Yorkshire Dales. Leena is on an enforced sabbatical from her job and to help take her mind off this, her grandmother has left a long list of errands and activities that she needs to take part in. Including walking local hottie Jackson's exuberant dog Hank, getting involved in the neighbourhood watch with the most wonderful array of eccentric pensioners including my fav Basil and Eileen's best friend Betsy, and helping to organise the annual village May Day celebrations. But my fav interactions on Leena's side of the story were her getting to know grumpy Arthur next door...gosh I loved that crotchety old timer!! But the real emotional centre point of the story comes from the absence that Leena feels in her life due to the death of her sister Carla from cancer prior to the novel's start point. The grief and anger that stems from this loss is what has driven Leena to burning the candle at both ends at work and has also put an enormous wedge into the relationship she has with her mother Marian (who also lives in this Yorkshire village). This in turn has deeply affected Eileen who hates to see her daughter and granddaughter not getting along. Once or twice this part of the story bordered on a little too much melodrama but it also served to ground the novel and was the real measure of how far Leena had become a different person since her sister's illness and death. And it was through this storyline that Leena experienced growth of character and ultimately gave this novel an incredibly satisfying endpoint.There were a lot of other plot lines running through the novel that made the whole storyline of these two women very entertaining, and kept me turning those pages as quickly as I could! These other plot lines also imbued the book with a real sense of community as so many of the side characters were involved in these more minor storylines. I thoroughly enjoyed this read and am rating it four and a half stars rounded up to five. After this I really can't wait to read Beth O'Leary's next novel. She has 100% just become an auto-buy author for me. *An e-copy of this book was kindly provided to me by the publisher, Quercus, via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review* For more reviews and book related chat check out my blog
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  • ✨ A ✨
    January 1, 1970
    I thought this was going to be like a Freaky Friday movie body switch. And then I reread the blurb and realised it's a place swap not a body swap *face palms* That's what I get for skimming through blurbs. _____My review of The Flatshare
  • Abby Jimenez
    January 1, 1970
    Oh man, what to say about this book. I guess I should start by mentioning that I gave it the highest honor—I read it with my eyeballs lol. I do audiobooks. It's reeeeeally hard for me to get to a paperback. I just blew through this.The world is light and charming and I particularly loved getting Eileen's POV in this. It really kept the pages moving for me because I couldn't decide who I liked best, Leena or her grandmother, and I wanted to keep reading to get to their next chapters. This is Oh man, what to say about this book. I guess I should start by mentioning that I gave it the highest honor—I read it with my eyeballs lol. I do audiobooks. It's reeeeeally hard for me to get to a paperback. I just blew through this.The world is light and charming and I particularly loved getting Eileen's POV in this. It really kept the pages moving for me because I couldn't decide who I liked best, Leena or her grandmother, and I wanted to keep reading to get to their next chapters. This is definitely a light read, but it still touches on deeper topics like grief and it's handled really beautifully. I'm so sad it's over!
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  • KristynRene The Hype Queen of Books
    January 1, 1970
    So we have a The Holiday featuring Jack Black, Kate Winslet, Cameron Diaz, and Jude Law-Esque scenario by an author already proven to craft unexpectedly marvelous stories of self discovery and romance?And this comes out when???
  • Stacey (prettybooks)
    January 1, 1970
    Beth O'Leary's The Flatshare was a huge hit with me and so The Switch – out April 2020 – is one of my most anticipated releases. I read it during my Christmas break and it was the perfect choice – warm, uplifting and totally different to anything else I've read lately. Continue reading this review over on Pretty Books. #gifted: Thank you to the publisher for sending me this book for free in exchange for an honest review!
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  • Reyes
    January 1, 1970
    ARC kindly provided by Quercus Books via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thanks!When I requested an ARC of The Switch I thought it had the potential to be brilliant or a total disaster... I loved the author's first book and I was happy to find here some the things that I enjoyed so much in The Flatshare. Mixing a heavily emotional story with lighter and often funny topics is a good choice here, and I think both are done skilfully. My problem is that at some point the lighter topics ARC kindly provided by Quercus Books via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thanks!When I requested an ARC of The Switch I thought it had the potential to be brilliant or a total disaster... I loved the author's first book and I was happy to find here some the things that I enjoyed so much in The Flatshare. Mixing a heavily emotional story with lighter and often funny topics is a good choice here, and I think both are done skilfully. My problem is that at some point the lighter topics took over the more emotional (and in my opinion more interesting) ones and the book lost a lot of its power in the second half. I loved seeing the different grieving processes of all the Cotton women but at some point the book started to focus almost exclusively on Eileen and Leena's love lives, and there were so many background stories going on that I got a bit lost. My second issue is that all stories are resolved too perfectly to feel real - I understand the value of a feel-good story, but the ending was downright cheesy and over-the-top. So the result is far from a disaster, but not perfect either. Still, this is a really good choice for a heartwarming read when in need of an uplifting book with a heavy side of romance.
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  • Zubs Malik
    January 1, 1970
    I waited a whole year for this book. And then it was all over in under six hours. Hey Beth? Where is book three please….I am offering this super mini review to entice you all because I KNOW a lot of you are patiently (okay, not so patiently – I’m looking at you @bringmybooks ) waiting to get your hands on a copy of Beth’s new book and let me tell you something - it will be worth the wait.I did not think that she would be able to top the incredible premise that was The Flat Share, but this book I waited a whole year for this book. And then it was all over in under six hours. Hey Beth? Where is book three please….I am offering this super mini review to entice you all because I KNOW a lot of you are patiently (okay, not so patiently – I’m looking at you @bringmybooks ) waiting to get your hands on a copy of Beth’s new book and let me tell you something - it will be worth the wait.I did not think that she would be able to top the incredible premise that was The Flat Share, but this book is just as brilliant. I love how she creates these amazing strong FEMALE characters with amazing traits and personalities that we can relate to effortlessly.I will have, of course a much more detailed review to offer closer to publication day but I will leave you with this. Beth has come back bigger and better and this world that she has created (on train commutes apparently?!) is just as magical and wonderful as Tiffy and Leon’s flat. 6 hours…that’s all it took from start to finish. Zubs
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  • Penelope
    January 1, 1970
    An uplifting and inspirational novel about love, grief, friendship and community. Packed full of wonderful characters who make you laugh, cry and cheer along. Dual viewpoint narratives often get on my nerves as I always favour one over the other but not in this book. Both main characters were equally engaging, and I loved spending time with them both. This is exactly the kind of fiction we need in these dark and troubling times.
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  • Fabulous Book Fiend
    January 1, 1970
    This is one of my most anticipated reads of 2020!
  • Clair Sharpe
    January 1, 1970
    Amazing - Beth O'Leary has done it again! I'll share my full review nearer publication day but it is safe to say I absolutely loved it!
  • what.heather.loves
    January 1, 1970
    "I breathe out slowly, my paintbrush suspended in mid-air. It's easy to forget when you're missing someone, that they're more than just the person you remember: they have sides to themselves they only show when other people are around."29 year old Leena Cotton, a project manager, lives in London with boyfriend Ethan. Her 79 year old grandma, Eileen Cotton, lives in the Yorkshire Dales, in the fictional village of Hamleigh-in-Harksdale. Following the death of beloved sister, Carla and mistakes "I breathe out slowly, my paintbrush suspended in mid-air. It's easy to forget when you're missing someone, that they're more than just the person you remember: they have sides to themselves they only show when other people are around."29 year old Leena Cotton, a project manager, lives in London with boyfriend Ethan. Her 79 year old grandma, Eileen Cotton, lives in the Yorkshire Dales, in the fictional village of Hamleigh-in-Harksdale. Following the death of beloved sister, Carla and mistakes caused by overwork and stress at work, Leena is give two month's sabbatical to recuperate. At the same time Eileen, also grieving Carla, worrying about daughter Marion and having recently been left by husband Wade, is floundering and in need of direction.Both want a change in their lives, so Leena suggests a temporary switch, whereby they move into each other lives for two months. Having planned to move to London before meeting Wade, Eileen eagerly agrees to. This also gives Leena chance to build bridges with mother, Marian, who Leena blames for not persuading Carla to have experimental treatment that could have prolonged her life.So they make the switch and soon become friends with each others friends, helping out where they are needed - both being kind, warm women who are natural organisers. Leena finds she enjoys the company of older people, Ethan finds he doesn't like the Dales so rarely visits and Eileen finds herself a boyfriend, Todd, through online dating.Uplit at its best, Leena and Eileen are strong, funny, joyous and real. I thoroughly enjoyed this escapist read with its hilarious characters, beautifully written world, and entertaining plot. Their journeys are somewhat predictable, in terms of the changes in direction their lives take and who they bring with them, but this doesn't detract from this charming read, which will no doubt be loved by fans of O'Leary's debut, The Flatshare.Due to be published on 30th April 2020, I read this ARC courtesy of Quercus Books and Net Galley.
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  • Rachel
    January 1, 1970
    *With thanks to Netgalley & the publishers for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review, all opinions are my own.*My library book club were lucky enough to receive her first book, 'The Flat Share' for free to review on the radio and so I was excited to read this book through Netgalley as I was in the mood for an uplifting book. Of the two, I think that I preferred this novel as I love the idea of 'The Switch', with a grandmother and granddaughter swapping lives for eight *With thanks to Netgalley & the publishers for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review, all opinions are my own.*My library book club were lucky enough to receive her first book, 'The Flat Share' for free to review on the radio and so I was excited to read this book through Netgalley as I was in the mood for an uplifting book. Of the two, I think that I preferred this novel as I love the idea of 'The Switch', with a grandmother and granddaughter swapping lives for eight weeks as this also meant different friends, a different place and a break from work.I liked that this book involved some serious themes, such as death, grief and depression whilst also including thoughts, feelings and rediscovery of how to live again alongside hardships. There was something about this text that was very relatable, making it a quick read yet easily managing to juggle many different characters and places. The novel is split between the worlds of the two narrators in the first person and it was easy to identify which narrator was which without the need to look at the name at the start of each chapter.I gave this book 4 stars simply because I found that the characters journeys were too predictable for me; as much as I enjoyed the overall story and structure, I found that I was constantly guessing the next step and that is an issue for me as I do like to be surprised. However, that isn't the be all and end all as I did like the story and found the two narrators endearing and wanted to see them in a better place physically and mentally. The author did a fantastic job of handling difficult issues sensitively so I don't think a trigger warning would be required for people to enjoy this book. One thing that I do really like about O'Leary's writing style is that it is a very easy read, I managed to finish this on a long train journey and got into the text within pages, which is a positive thing and I would recommend others to read it as although it isn't the best book I've ever read, it is the kind of book i would read on journeys when I want an easy, enjoyable read.
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  • Jodie Matthews
    January 1, 1970
    I won the @netgalley lottery and received The Switch by the brilliant Beth O’Leary, published by the equally brilliant @quercusbooks to review. The Switch made me cry, just a little. Once, in a scene between mother and daughter, shouting at each other, furious with grief. And then again, at the end, a tender moment, a quiet ending. I stayed up too late to finish all 300 and something pages of The Switch in one day- as soon as I knew I could read it, I felt I had to. Beth O’Leary, to me, is an I won the @netgalley lottery and received The Switch by the brilliant Beth O’Leary, published by the equally brilliant @quercusbooks to review. The Switch made me cry, just a little. Once, in a scene between mother and daughter, shouting at each other, furious with grief. And then again, at the end, a tender moment, a quiet ending. I stayed up too late to finish all 300 and something pages of The Switch in one day- as soon as I knew I could read it, I felt I had to. Beth O’Leary, to me, is an author buoyed by her community - bookstagram supported Flatshare with fervour, and as a result, Beth’s second novel is even better, even brighter. Beth knows her characters. She writes bad men brilliantly,good men wonderfully, and she writes women of all sorts realistically. Every character written into The Switch feels like a real person, there are no filler characters. Everyone has a part to play, whether that is providing colour to village life or a homely touch in the city. No character feels like they have been shoe-horned in as plot device, which can happen quite often with romantic fiction. The Switch is marketed as a story of two women, Eileen and her granddaughter Leena, as they switch lives. I’d say it’s a story of three generations of women, living with grief and finding their own selves. Don’t be fooled, this isn’t a Jamie Lee Curtis Freaky Friday situation, this is a house-phone-friend swap that provides such a great premise for a lovely book.Read this book when you can, you’ll be better for it. The Switch will be published 30th April 2020.
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  • Dabarai
    January 1, 1970
    It is never too late to start a new chapter in your life. Leena Cotton and her grandma, Eileen Cotton, decide to swap places for two months - both are dealing with some serious issues, each of them needs a change of scenery and a space to think. Eileen is moving to fancy apartment in London, a place she once dreamed of conquering, and Leena comes to a small village in Yorkshire to take care of her estranged mother and keep up with all the village projects and gossip. This idea might not sound It is never too late to start a new chapter in your life. Leena Cotton and her grandma, Eileen Cotton, decide to swap places for two months - both are dealing with some serious issues, each of them needs a change of scenery and a space to think. Eileen is moving to fancy apartment in London, a place she once dreamed of conquering, and Leena comes to a small village in Yorkshire to take care of her estranged mother and keep up with all the village projects and gossip. This idea might not sound like everyone's cup of tea, but bear with me, it actually works! Firstly, massive kudos to the author for making Eileen one of the main characters - not that many authors wants to talk about older people like regular humans with their own ideas, dreams and (dare I say) NEEDS. Eileen might be older, but she makes plans, meets men, engages with other people, is nosy, makes mistakes and want to have fun. Secondly- the language. This book was funny, smart and under the sunny exterior managed to convey some important messages - dealing with grief, loneliness of older people, toxic relationships and managing own expectations. Perhaps it all seems a bit too predictable, too obvious in places, but I do not care. For me, this book seemed to tick all the boxes.
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  • Lindsay
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to Netgalley for advanced copy of this book.The Switch, takes you on a witty and uplifting journey between London and Yorkshire as Leena Cotton is forced to take a sabbatical due to making a big mistake at work. She decides to switch places with her grandmother, Eileen, who wishes to fulful her dream of living in London after her husband has recently left her. The 2 month adventure has lots of postives for both Leena and Elieen and ultimately allow them both to see the imortant things Thank you to Netgalley for advanced copy of this book.The Switch, takes you on a witty and uplifting journey between London and Yorkshire as Leena Cotton is forced to take a sabbatical due to making a big mistake at work. She decides to switch places with her grandmother, Eileen, who wishes to fulful her dream of living in London after her husband has recently left her. The 2 month adventure has lots of postives for both Leena and Elieen and ultimately allow them both to see the imortant things they have in their life. It is quite a predictable read but it is light and humorous. It reminded me slightly of The Holiday, with the switching idea. Whilst I did enjoy it, for me the Flatshare was much more of an interesting idea and kept me enaged more. It hasn't put me off Beth O'Leary's books and I would like to try more of them but this one was a lot slower paced and I struggled to keep focus. 3.5 stars.
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  • Clare
    January 1, 1970
    I adored Beth O'Leary's first book, The Flatshare, since it was original and entertaining, so I was super hyped to read The Switch. Unfortunately I was quite disappointed, as it was very predictable, slow and both main characters were awful. For majority of this book, literally nothing happens. Leena basically goes to village meetings, and deals with the villages and family drama, while Eileen’s in the city talking to men off a dating website. I was expecting a lot more romance in this, but I adored Beth O'Leary's first book, The Flatshare, since it was original and entertaining, so I was super hyped to read The Switch. Unfortunately I was quite disappointed, as it was very predictable, slow and both main characters were awful. For majority of this book, literally nothing happens. Leena basically goes to village meetings, and deals with the villages and family drama, while Eileen’s in the city talking to men off a dating website. I was expecting a lot more romance in this, but there’s barely any. Leena has a neglectful boyfriend for nearly 90% of this boo𝗄, and is also interested in a single dad from the village. They get together in the last 3%, with pretty much no development between them.One thing I did love was Arnold. He was meant to be the villages grumpy old man but he was such a sweetheart!
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  • Kavya | aworldinpages
    January 1, 1970
    A slow but entertaining, and complete with vibrant characters - older ones stole the show! Won't lie, post The Flatshare, I was expecting a contemporary romance along similar lines, and equally fun, if not more. This one is different and honestly quite fresh. It's not really a romance, although it's a part of this book, but more about relationships with people - the ones around us as well as the ones in our family. There's a quirkiness in Beth O'Leary's writing and despite having read only one A slow but entertaining, and complete with vibrant characters - older ones stole the show! Won't lie, post The Flatshare, I was expecting a contemporary romance along similar lines, and equally fun, if not more. This one is different and honestly quite fresh. It's not really a romance, although it's a part of this book, but more about relationships with people - the ones around us as well as the ones in our family. There's a quirkiness in Beth O'Leary's writing and despite having read only one other book of hers, I've come to appreciate the warmth it brings along. If you pick it up expecting the same magic as her previous book, you might be slightly disappointed. Otherwise, The Switch is quite an entertainer.
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  • Clare
    January 1, 1970
    2 stars!I adored Beth O'Leary's first book, The Flatshare, since it was original and entertaining, so I was super hyped to read The Switch. Unfortunately I was quite disappointed, as it was very predictable, slow and both main characters were awful. For majority of this book, literally nothing happens. Leena basically goes to village meetings, and deals with village and family drama, while Eileen’s in the city talking to men off a dating website. I was expecting a lot more romance in this, but 2 stars!I adored Beth O'Leary's first book, The Flatshare, since it was original and entertaining, so I was super hyped to read The Switch. Unfortunately I was quite disappointed, as it was very predictable, slow and both main characters were awful. For majority of this book, literally nothing happens. Leena basically goes to village meetings, and deals with village and family drama, while Eileen’s in the city talking to men off a dating website. I was expecting a lot more romance in this, but there’s barely any. Leena has a neglectful boyfriend for nearly 90% of this boo𝗄, and is also interested in a single dad from the village. They get together in the last 3%, with pretty much no development between them.One thing I did love was Arnold. He was meant to be the village's grumpy old man but he was such a sweetheart!𝖱𝖾𝗅𝖾𝖺𝗌𝖾 𝖽𝖺𝗍𝖾: 30 𝖠𝗉𝗋𝗂𝗅 2020𝖳𝗁𝖺𝗇𝗄 𝗒𝗈𝗎 𝖭𝖾𝗍𝗀𝖺𝗅𝗅𝖾𝗒 𝖿𝗈𝗋 𝗉𝗋𝗈𝗏𝗂𝖽𝗂𝗇𝗀 𝖺𝗇 𝖠𝖱𝖢!
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  • Εvdokia Veloudou (velvetreads)
    January 1, 1970
    This is the second time I read something by Beth O'Leary (granted this is her second novel) and I am now a true fan of her genre. I know that the moment I pick up her book it is bound to make me feel better, make me relax and ultimately even deliver a meaningful message across. The Switch for me was a wonderful little treat, keeping me company at night and making me immerse myself into the two main characters' lives. It was sweet, heart-warming and uplifting that I will for sure be recommending This is the second time I read something by Beth O'Leary (granted this is her second novel) and I am now a true fan of her genre. I know that the moment I pick up her book it is bound to make me feel better, make me relax and ultimately even deliver a meaningful message across. The Switch for me was a wonderful little treat, keeping me company at night and making me immerse myself into the two main characters' lives. It was sweet, heart-warming and uplifting that I will for sure be recommending to my friends and family. If you're looking for a feel good novel, this is it!
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  • Last Book Marauder
    January 1, 1970
    Oh my goodness! It has a cover. And it's perfect!! Oh my goodness! 😍😍 It has a cover. And it's perfect!!
  • yorkshirebooknerd
    January 1, 1970
    Ah I loved it! What a fantastic book to read just before Christmas too Full review to follow Ah I loved it! What a fantastic book to read just before Christmas too 😊Full review to follow
  • Beth Rose
    January 1, 1970
    I stand by this tweet. Full review for NetGalley to comeEdit 8/12/19 - Full Review Has Arrived!!Get it here!May, for me, is Chick Lit/Rom Com month. It's the one month of the year that I go nutso for some good fun Romance novels and try to devour as many as possible. One title I came across was Beth O'Leary's debut novel, the Flatshare. It was adorable and heartfelt and everything I could want in a very English Rom Com. It was the absolute contender for my "Cutest Book of 2019" and unlikely to I stand by this tweet. Full review for NetGalley to comeEdit 8/12/19 - Full Review Has Arrived!! Get it here!May, for me, is Chick Lit/Rom Com month. It's the one month of the year that I go nutso for some good fun Romance novels and try to devour as many as possible. One title I came across was Beth O'Leary's debut novel, the Flatshare. It was adorable and heartfelt and everything I could want in a very English Rom Com. It was the absolute contender for my "Cutest Book of 2019" and unlikely to ever find a worthy opponent.... I think you can see where this is going. The Switch by Beth O'Leary is every bit as adorable, heartfelt and lovable as The Flatshare is, and then some. It is far and away the cutest book for 2019 - and it hasn't even been officially published yet so it could even get the 2020 title too!So anyway I tweeted Beth O'Leary and now she knows how cute her book is. Because obviously I'm an authority on such things. But what is it about, you ask - besides all the best and most wonderful things a book should be?Young professional (*cough* workaholic *cough*) Leena Cotton needs a break. Her sister is dead, her mother has gone a bit mad, her business plans are going nowhere and her heavily pregnant housemate's birthing plan (or lack thereof) is stressing her out. If her disastrous presentation that ended in a panic attack is anything to go by, things are starting to catch up to her. Two whole work free months of forced leave stretch out before her, and Leena is at a loss.Eileen Cotton, newly single, almost eighty and the heart and soul of her rural Yorkshire town, is ready for a change. A romantic one, to be specific. Unfortunately, her pool of potential suitors in her town are not at all ideal. What's a gran to do? Swap lives with her out-of-work granddaughter and join up to an online dating service, as it would happen.As Eileen dips her toes into London's dating pool and connects with her new charming but eccentric neighbour, Leena is dipping her does in her granny's wellies and inadvertently wreaking havoc through the quiet rural community while trying keep up with all of her granny's commitments around town. It's hard work, but Leena is more that up for the task. Especially since her boyfriend in London is growing distant and her childhood friend/Mayday Committee rival is infuriatingly adorable.*dreamy sigh*I have been reading so very many world-at-stake-dragon-and-spaceship stories lately and it was so very nice to curl up with a book about family and heartache and love, and about a young woman and her granny. I, myself, have two very wonderful grandmothers - one of whom is a pillar of her small town community and always the first to volunteer for an event, much like Eileen. I love spending time with my grandmothers and I've found this isn't a relationship often explored in fiction. So I was very glad to get my hands on The Switch for this reason alone.Told in alternating perspectives, Eileen and Leena learn to navigate each others lives, meddling with the other's friends and enemies and trying to figure themselves out in the process. I can't say I had a particular favourite between the two perspectives. In fact, every time I got to the end of a Leena chapter, I would think "Oh finally! I'd been missing Eileen", and vice versa. Both perspectives tell of a fish out of water discovering who they are accompanied by an ensemble cast of quirky - and admittedly sometimes interchangeable - supporting characters. The Romance! The Drama! It just worked. And I loved it.I won't claim that The Switch does anything new for literature or Rom Coms as a whole, but I hardly expected it to. Something I love about this kind of book is that you're not waiting to be slapped in the face by a great cataclysmic event, but following a comfortable and winding story path set out by the author. Sure, you may be able to see what's coming and you may get a few twists and turns along the way, but it feels really good to get what you're expecting in the end. The Switch is such a good and comfortable book in this sense, but it still had room to tackle some big issues of belonging, loneliness, loss and finding your family. Like The Flatshare, you're going to want to have a box of tissues around when you read it, but don't worry! It was an overwhelmingly positive tale. It sounds so mild but this book was just Capital N Nice to experience.I was well and truly Eileened by it.And you'll want to be too.
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  • Richard Thompson
    January 1, 1970
    The Goodreads synopsis of this book hardly does it justice. The book is much better than the synopsis would lead a potential reader to expect. I would never have realized from reading the synopsis that this a well-written story of healing, authenticity and caring populated with fun quirky characters and told with a distinctive original authorial voice. A year after the loss of Leena's beloved sister, Carla, to cancer, the three generations of Cotton family women are still grieving and seem to be The Goodreads synopsis of this book hardly does it justice. The book is much better than the synopsis would lead a potential reader to expect. I would never have realized from reading the synopsis that this a well-written story of healing, authenticity and caring populated with fun quirky characters and told with a distinctive original authorial voice. A year after the loss of Leena's beloved sister, Carla, to cancer, the three generations of Cotton family women are still grieving and seem to be locked in a spiral of dysfunction that gets worse instead of healing over time. After a breakdown at work, Leena is given an enforced two month paid leave of absence from her high-powered job, so in an effort to find some quiet away from the hubbub of London she switches places with her grandmother, Eileen, with Leena moving into her grandmother's cozy cottage in a tiny Yorkshire village and Eileen moving into Leena's London flat. The role switch gimmick is an old one, but it still works as a plot device, and I haven't encountered a grandmother/granddaughter switch before.The two women are both fish out of water, who are initially lost but quickly find their way. Sprightly Eileen adjusts a bit more quickly than earnest Leena. They are both energetic, kind and resourceful, so after many ins and outs, it all turns out fine. Leena and Eileen are very different people, but in important ways they are the same. One important cross generational trait of the Cotton women is that they are busybodies and meddlers, poking in their noses where they don't belong and often getting negative results, but because they are also caring, likeable and empathetic people, the meddling in the end always turns out to have been a good thing.This book doesn't fit easily into the kinds of books that I typically read, and I would probably have never picked it up if I had not had occasion to deal with it professionally, but just as the two women in this story step out of their comfort zones and grow, I think that it is important for me to sometimes read books that are not an obvious fit to my usual taste. Sometimes doing that is a mistake, but in this case I found a gem.
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  • Bryony Indecisive Reader
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to NetGalley for an early copy of this book for review. Usually when I get a book on NetGalley, I try to read it close to the release date, so I can remember and talk about it when it comes out. But I just couldn’t resist. I wanted so desperately to jump back into Beth O’Leary’s writing and, let’s be honest, of course I’ll read it again in April. The Switch tells the story of Leena and Eileen, a granddaughter-grandmother pair, who switch lives for two months for a bit of a shakeup to Thanks to NetGalley for an early copy of this book for review. Usually when I get a book on NetGalley, I try to read it close to the release date, so I can remember and talk about it when it comes out. But I just couldn’t resist. I wanted so desperately to jump back into Beth O’Leary’s writing and, let’s be honest, of course I’ll read it again in April. The Switch tells the story of Leena and Eileen, a granddaughter-grandmother pair, who switch lives for two months for a bit of a shakeup to their usual lives. Leena is forced from work after a huge mistake, caused by overworking and ignoring her sister’s death; she moves away from London to reconnect with her mother and face the reality she’s tried to bury. Eileen is recently single and nearly 80, but has no chance at love in her tiny village; the chance to move to London will give her the lease of life that marriage took away. In this book, Beth O’Leary creates two incredibly funny, strong women that narrate the book, as well as a whole cast of fully developed supporting characters. All the interactions are interesting and add to the story. There’s also an LGBT+ character who isn’t main, but certainly often appears. It’s funny, happy and cute, but that’s not all. Just like in The Flatshare, this book also deals with some more serious themes. This time it’s grief. We’re told there’s no one way to grieve, and that grief doesn’t instantly disappear after a certain amount of time. Grief hits you at all times, prompted by the smallest memory. It’s something I’ve been fortunate enough to not have had to deal with, but it feels like it was done really well. This book forms some strong relationships. Yes, there’s a romance and yes, I didn’t hate it, but romance is just one part of it. The more important relationships are formed between unlikely friends or in communities where first impressions are challenged. I can’t wait to have an actual copy to pass around (and one in an extra large print for my nan!)
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  • book bruin
    January 1, 1970
    This was such a heartwarming and uplifting novel. I loved how Beth O'Leary put her own unique spin on the trading places premise. I don't think that I have ever read a novel with an older main character quite like Eileen Cotton. She was hilarious and vivacious and I can only hope that I'm half as entertaining when I'm her age. I loved that it was Eileen out there dating and really embracing life and its adventures. It was a wonderful role reversal and contrast to her granddaughter, Leena. The This was such a heartwarming and uplifting novel. I loved how Beth O'Leary put her own unique spin on the trading places premise. I don't think that I have ever read a novel with an older main character quite like Eileen Cotton. She was hilarious and vivacious and I can only hope that I'm half as entertaining when I'm her age. I loved that it was Eileen out there dating and really embracing life and its adventures. It was a wonderful role reversal and contrast to her granddaughter, Leena. The fish out of water trope is always a fun one, and I enjoyed seeing Leena come to appreciate the slower pace of life and embrace the residents of Hamleigh (quirks and all). Yes, the plot was fairly predictable and there is some drama towards the end, but O'Leary's writing was wonderful and kept the story engaging and entertaining.There were many laugh out loud moments thanks to the incredible cast of secondary characters, but The Switch also discussed some very important issues as well. I appreciated the care that O'Leary took in addressing loneliness and isolation among older/aging adults. It's not a topic I often think of, so I liked how it was highlighted and integrated into the story. O'Leary also tackled grief, depression, domestic violence, death of loved ones, and infidelity compassionately and sensitively. It was all balanced so well with the lighthearted moments and came together beautifully.There is some slow burn romance and romantic themes in The Switch, but the greater message of hope and healing for all three generations of Cotton women is what really stands out about this novel. The love that Eileen, Marian, and Leena have for each other and their friends and family is the heart of the story. The epilogue left me misty eyed and smiling ear to ear and I cannot wait to see what Beth O'Leary writes next!*I voluntarily read an advance review copy of this book*
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  • Heidi
    January 1, 1970
    After reading The Flatshare, I knew that I wanted to read more from Beth O'Leary. The Switch has bumped her up to my list of authors whose books I will automatically buy without even bothering to read the synopsis. The Switch is a beautifully written story about two women, grandmother Eileen and granddaughter Leena (a nickname for Eileen), who are both stuck in their lives after the death of Carla, Leena's sister. After Leena is sent on a forced sabbatical by her boss, they decide to switch After reading The Flatshare, I knew that I wanted to read more from Beth O'Leary. The Switch has bumped her up to my list of authors whose books I will automatically buy without even bothering to read the synopsis. The Switch is a beautifully written story about two women, grandmother Eileen and granddaughter Leena (a nickname for Eileen), who are both stuck in their lives after the death of Carla, Leena's sister. After Leena is sent on a forced sabbatical by her boss, they decide to switch places for a few weeks: Eileen will move to London in pursuit of adventure and a second chance at love, and Leena moves to a tiny village in the Yorkshire Dales in pursuit of rest and a chance to fix her relationship with her mother Marian. Throw in trendy flatmates, online dating at 79, nosy neighbours and village committee meetings, and you end up with both women feeling like the other Eileen left some pretty big shoes to fill. Despite the grief that's present throughout the book, this was a funny and charming story about family and community. The narrative switches between Eileen and Leena with every chapter, which means you constantly get a different way of looking at events and characters. This helps to make the setting and the characters feel more realistic, more alive. This was a quick and easy read, despite the two narrators and the two very different settings. Eileen and Leena's journeys may have been a little bit predictable, but Beth O'Leary writes her characters with such nuance and care and love, you tend to forgive the lack of absolutely shocking plot twists.(I received an arc from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review)
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  • Sara Oxton
    January 1, 1970
    The Switch by Beth O’Leary a five-star read that you won’t want to switch for anything. Beth O’Leary wrote one of my favourite books to recommend the Flat share and she has managed to do it again; I know I can recommend these two to anyone and they will have great read no matter what genre they read. This was a great story and even just the descriptions of the Dales had my eyes shining as you could see the emotion coming through the description, it was so detailed and well done that you could The Switch by Beth O’Leary a five-star read that you won’t want to switch for anything. Beth O’Leary wrote one of my favourite books to recommend the Flat share and she has managed to do it again; I know I can recommend these two to anyone and they will have great read no matter what genre they read. This was a great story and even just the descriptions of the Dales had my eyes shining as you could see the emotion coming through the description, it was so detailed and well done that you could smell the peaty rain and imagine you are standing on the Buttertubs pass, (not mentioned in the story, but if this inspires you to visit a must see place) you can taste the bitter blackberries like they are in your mouth and not on the page. Leena and Eileen have both won a place in my heart, Eileen just warmed me with every little thing she did, especially her little hall project. (There really should be more of those everywhere, you will so get that when you read the story and you need to read it, even if you only read one book this year!!) Beth O’Leary brings you a story that will make you care and make you think, she has a way with writing people that will lodge them so deep into your heart even a triple bypass wouldn’t shift them. She has a way of describing people that you can identify with and makes you see them as real people and not just a character on a page. Never have I wanted to know more about a neighbourhood watch meeting in my life!! Each of the characters in this story play a massive role even if they only have a tiny part, there is no one that you could cut out and still have a strong story, that’s the test of a great story in my eyes.
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  • Priya Shrinath
    January 1, 1970
    When I heard author Beth is writing a new book I immediately wanted to read it as soon I get the chance and I'm very thankful to Quercus Books for granting my wish with a review copy.I thoroughly enjoyed reading Flatshare like several other readers and have not yet found a noteworthy romantic fiction till date. And she has done it again with this book, although it's nothing like her previous novel. She has managed to create unforgettable lovely characters in her book that could become your new When I heard author Beth is writing a new book I immediately wanted to read it as soon I get the chance and I'm very thankful to Quercus Books for granting my wish with a review copy.I thoroughly enjoyed reading Flatshare like several other readers and have not yet found a noteworthy romantic fiction till date. And she has done it again with this book, although it's nothing like her previous novel. She has managed to create unforgettable lovely characters in her book that could become your new best friends for life. That's how I feel about the Cotton woman, all of different ages, each unique and relatable of their own.I see so many readers comparing the book to Holiday (it's a lovely movie!) because of the swapping plot but I feel there's more depth to the story than the movie. There's something for all women in this book that everyone could understand and relate to, and it's extraordinary with the characters involved.I was totally looking for a feel good book to read, so I don't care how cheesy the book ended. It was just what I wanted and I'm so glad I chose to read this one at this time! It's my first book for 2020 and I wish the author all the best.All opinions mine.
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  • Elizabeth Currie
    January 1, 1970
    What a heartwarming book! Having read and loved The Flatshare I was very excited to get into this and it certainly did not disappoint - more than just another romance, O'Leary has created another fun, entertaining and ultimately uplifting read. The story of a grandmother and granddaughter, Eileen and Leena, who swap homes for 8 weeks and navigate aspects of each others lives while they try and re-find themselves, it is a story of family, grief, friendships and relationships that draws you in, What a heartwarming book! Having read and loved The Flatshare I was very excited to get into this and it certainly did not disappoint - more than just another romance, O'Leary has created another fun, entertaining and ultimately uplifting read. The story of a grandmother and granddaughter, Eileen and Leena, who swap homes for 8 weeks and navigate aspects of each others lives while they try and re-find themselves, it is a story of family, grief, friendships and relationships that draws you in, sweeps you along and wraps you up nicely. Told from alternate perspectives, the characters are well drawn and it is refreshing to have an older woman who is determined to embrace life as such a central character, And it is not just the two main characters who come to life - the other characters all have a part to play and you care about them too. It is not all light and fluffy though - it also deals with some big issues that stop it becoming overly saccharine, though those do not get in the way of its overall charm and the feel-good nature of the bookThank you to Netgalley and Quercus for an advance copy in exchange for an honest review..
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  • Lissanne Daamen
    January 1, 1970
    Many thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for giving me an ARC for this book.---"Men. They always bloody let you down, don't they?"4.5/5 starsWell, that was such a lovely, feel-good read! It seems like a sweet book at first, but when you actually start reading, there's so many layers of important theme's that the author deals with, that it's so much more than a feel-good book. Grief, abuse, adultery, loneliness, it's all in there, and it's done so brilliantly.I really liked the concept of Many thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for giving me an ARC for this book.---"Men. They always bloody let you down, don't they?"4.5/5 starsWell, that was such a lovely, feel-good read! It seems like a sweet book at first, but when you actually start reading, there's so many layers of important theme's that the author deals with, that it's so much more than a feel-good book. Grief, abuse, adultery, loneliness, it's all in there, and it's done so brilliantly.I really liked the concept of Leena and Eileen switching their lives, but I've got to say that I was a lot more invested in Eileen's (grandma's) life than in Leena's. The sweet old lady took on the big city and made it her own. She really found her place, and not only that, she even had fun! Leena's time in the village. well, I've got to say that I wasn't all that interested in it. I don't really know why, but the elderly lady moving to the city just interested me so much more!Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I'm already anticipated this author's next book, because I have a feeling they're all going to be this warm and lovely.
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