Book Review: The Switch by Beth O’Leary

Format: Hardcover

Pages: 336 pages

Published: August 18, 2020

Publisher: Flatiron Books

Genre: Romance, Contemporary, Women’s Fiction


Instead of reading about two young people switching their lives but a unique, heartwarming story about a grandmother and granddaughter switching their lives that gives them a different opportunity to live in each other shoes and a chance to embark on a new journey and become closer as a family. 

Both Eileen and Leena are at pivotal points in their lives. Eileen is trying to find love and companionship of another man since her husband, Wade, left her for a dance instructor. Eileen always wanted to go to London when she was younger, but pregnancy and marriage put an end to that and she has never left the little village of Hamleigh-in-Harksdale. Leena, on the other hand, has a panic attack during a work presentation. Forced to take a two-month sabbatical, Leena takes the time to visit her grandmother. Through a discussion of missed opportunities, that’s where it is decided that both Leena and Eileen will switch their homes and swap their lives.

O’Leary’s unique and remarkable humor and wit make this one entertaining and relatable story for any reader. Not only was it refreshing to read a story that doesn’t follow the typical romantic tropes (well, mostly) but a story that contains characters that are so relatable that will touch your heart and stay with you always. Eileen and Leena are not so different. They are both searching for something, something that will take their mind off their recent tragedy. Carla, granddaughter and sister, passed away from a devastating disease. Her passing has left a huge hole in the family. Because of this, it has caused them to be stuck in their lives and move on to a new journey.

But Eileen’s and Leena’s recent adventure into each other’s lives gives them more insight into their grief. When a tragedy happens in your life, grief takes a stronghold on your life and can make it hard for a person to move forward. Speaking from experience, grief has a funny and ironic way of providing a new outlook on your current life. Just take a look at Eileen and Leena. They were both able to come out of their shells and take a chance on what life can offer them. Eileen gets to achieve the goals that she wanted to do when she was younger and Leena gets to do work that she has excitement and passion for. I think that’s one of the main reasons why identified with this story. People think second chances are hard to come by but this story reflects that anything is possible.

O’Leary’s writing style is similar to Jojo Moyes’s but not exact. I haven’t read her debut novel, The Flatshare but if it is anything like this one, O’Leary thinks outside the basic contemporary romance trope and approaches various subjects in various angles and directions. She can invoke true and realistic emotion with stories that think outside the conventional box. In an ever-changing world, those are the type of stories that can make a difference.

We need heartwarming and uplifting stories and The Switch is one of those unputdownable books that will bring insight and enjoyment. This inspiring book will have you believe in not only second chances, but also in new life-changing adventures and contemporary romances take a chance and doesn’t follow the standard tropes. Perfect for fans of Jojo Moyes and contemporary fiction.

Thank you Edelweiss and Flatiron Books for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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