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Thank you to NetGalley for my copy of this audiobook. All opinions are my own.
Some of my favorite comfort reads are modern British novels, such as Confessions of a Shopaholic, Bridget Jones’s Diary, I Don’t Know How She Does It, One Day, and How To Find Love in a Bookshop. The humor, the mannerisms, the dialect, and the landscape make me so happy!
I haven’t read any books by Beth O’Leary before, but the description for this one sounded so intriguing! And usually, audiobooks are not my thing, but they are really starting to grow on me (especially now that I have some time to kill in the carline at my kid’s school).
Author: Beth O’Leary
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Pages: 328 (hardcover)
Published: April 16th, 2020
Leena is a hardworking career-girl in London who suddenly blows a big presentation for her company due to a panic attack. She’s ordered to take a two-month sabbatical to get herself in order. Leena’s grandmother, Eileen, is on the verge of eighty, somewhat newly single, and on the hunt for a new man.
Leena decides that the best thing to do is for them to swap places. She will go back to her hometown to carry out Eileen’s tasks around the community and assist her emotionally distraught mother, and Eileen will stay in Leena’s flat in London with her roommates and go on dates with some male suitors. They even swap phones and computers, so neither are tempted to contact their regular life that they’re meant to be taking a break from.
Since the chapters alternate between Leena and Eileen’s point of view, we really get to know both characters and watch as they grow.
My reading experience
The Switch was such fun! It was hilarious at times, emotional at others, and overall a great read. Eileen is so feisty, and I hope that I’m just like her when I’m that age. Some of the things that came out of her mouth just made my jaw drop. It was glorious.
And can we talk about the two month PAID vacation Leena was asked to go on? Holy crap! And she didn’t even want to take it, she was forced to by her boss.
What I liked
- Eileen- a hilarious, wise, no BS kind of lady. My new idol. Think Betty White in Lake Placid, but not quite as raunchy.
- Definitely the UK setting.
- There are quite a few older characters, and many of them are not portrayed as the elderly normally are (ill, weak, helpless, etc.), but as lively, active members of their community who have plenty to offer to others and who have sex like college kids. It was really refreshing to see this!
- A tragedy occurs prior to the start of the story, and we get to see how three of the characters handle it in their own way.
- Did I mention it was super funny??
What I didn’t like
- There are a number of cliches. The old lady that is slightly batty and lives alone, the eligible bachelor who is super sweet and a single dad, the sassy bff, plus more I won’t mention because I’m not about to spoil it for anyone! These certainly didn’t ruin the story, but if I had to pick one thing I didn’t like, that would be it.
Though I wasn’t wowed or blown away, The Switch did not disappoint as a comfort read! Even during the more emotional parts, the overall tone was light hearted. And I can’t get over how much it made me laugh. It was charming and uplifting, and I recommend it to anyone needing a bit of a break from life.
Would I watch this movie? Oh my gosh, yes.