Ordered to take a two-month sabbatical after blowing a big presentation at work, Leena escapes to her grandmother Eileen’s house for some overdue rest. Newly single and about to turn eighty, Eileen would like a second chance at love. But her tiny Yorkshire village doesn’t offer many eligible gentlemen… So Leena proposes a solution: a two-month swap. Eileen can live in London and look for love, and L Leena will look after everything in rural Yorkshire.
But with a rabble of unruly OAPs to contend with, as well as the annoyingly perfect – and distractingly handsome – local schoolteacher, Leena learns that switching lives isn’t straightforward. Back in London, Eileen is a huge hit with her new neighbours, and with the online dating scene. But is her perfect match nearer to home than she first thought?
Having loved listening to The Flat Share last month, I was looking forward to getting into O’Leary’s second novel, The Switch. Luckily, the characters are just as loveable and I enjoyed getting involved in their lives, particularly as “the switch” encouraged them to rethink their priorities.
The Switch is set in the village of Hamley in the Yorkshire Dales, and London. In both locations we meet some brilliant characters, but I particularly enjoyed the scenes in Hamley as I recognised the community spirit and propensity for gossip from the town where I grew up. I chose to listen to the audio version of the book, which was narrated in alternate chapters by Alison Steadman and Daisy Edgar-Jones. They are both brilliant actors and bring not only the central characters, but the wonderful, colourful characters in Eileen and Leena’s lives, to life.
The premise of The Switch is relatively simple, but I felt that this book offered much more than a life swap. I loved the humour in it and often caught myself grinning from ear to ear, but it also allows the reader to think about some important issues such as grief, separation and domestic violence.
The Switch is available from Amazon.