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 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 is a triumph – a vibrant romantic lead rather than a dotty knitter played for laughs ... O’Leary excels at good-hearted wit ... If you’ve been having a rough time concentrating enough to read a novel and just need something with a thoroughly good heart to hold onto, The Switch offers both stalwart Eileens and enough happy endings to populate an Andrew Lang fairy book.
I’m not quite sure I’d count this book as a romance, to be honest. The story is told in alternating viewpoints between Leena and Eileen, and it’s primarily a story about two women rediscovering themselves after a loss ... There is a fair bit of grief in this book, but it isn’t a sad book – in fact, there is a lot of humour, a lot of emphasis on community and on building friendships that cross age barriers, and a lot of the delight of finding new ways of living that bring you joy and fulfilment ... it was really the perfect book to curl up with if one is under the weather. It’s sweet and funny and kind and low conflict, and if I can’t be Eileen myself, I’d settle for her coming over and organising my life for me.
...brisk and engaging. Her writing is warm, funny and oh-so-British. The characters she creates feel real ... In this time of increased isolation, The Switch offers a hopeful reminder to reach out to our neighbors with an open mind. It’s a cozy, lovely story about how community matters more than ever.