It’s no secret that The Flatshare was one of my top read is 2019 – so I of course JUMPED at the chance to read and review the newest romance from Beth O’Leary – The Switch – which hit shelves in April this year.
WHAT’S IT ABOUT?
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.
Paraphrased from Booktopia.
Well my friends, if you are looking for a contemporary read that’s bursting with charm, wit, emotion, and humour – look no further! With a wonderful cast of characters and two lead women you’ll fall in love with (& laugh with & cry with…), O’Leary has absolutely nailed the follow up to her stunning debut, The Flatshare (which – spoiler alert – I also adored.)
Beth O’Leary is a master at exploring grief, family, and relationships in the context of contemporary romance lit, and it’s refreshing to pick up a book in this genre knowing I’ll get a page-turning read with substance, heart, AND characters I’ll fall in love with. I appreciate that the side-characters are also fleshed out and have their own small character arcs within the novel as well – it makes you feel like you’re truly peeking in to Eileen & Leena’s life, where their friends are so much a part of the action, not merely there to ‘fill out’ the story.
Some scenes gave me A Man Called Ove vibes, as the ‘Neighbourhood Watch’ meetings are full or grumpy, hilarious, nit-picking elderly characters. BUT AGAIN, they aren’t too big caricatures and still feel like genuine characters rather than comic relief. (Guys, did I mention I love the characters?).
I loved the not-quite-schemes of Eileen, and the way they helped each character find what they needed (whether it was direction, conflict resolution, or just a friend to have a cup of tea with). We all need an Eileen in our life – I hope you find (or have already found) yours.
Read if: You enjoy uplifting reads, contemporary romances, or stories about friendship, family, grief, and redemption.
Content Warning: Death of a sibling to cancer, non-graphic domestic abuse
Page Length: 328
Publisher: Quercus (a Hachette Company)
What uplifting books have you been reading lately?
I’ll admit that May has been all about those light n easy reads for me! Reading slump be gone!