When Leena is asked to take some time off from her job in London, she goes to Yorkshire to visit her grandmother, Eileen, for a break. Soon, Leena suggests that she and Eileen swap homes for a while so that Eileen can have new experiences in London, and she can relax in Yorkshire whilst taking care of things there for Eileen. Both women are looking for something different for a while, but perhaps change will turn out to be exactly what they need.
Earlier this year, I adored The Flat Share and now I love The Switch. This novel had similar elements and feelings to The Flat Share, which I loved and hope O’Leary will continue to create, without being samey at all. The Switch was different and it was wholesome and lovely and I enjoyed it so much.
When I say that this novel is wholesome and lovely, I don’t mean that the characters have an easy journey or that O’Leary doesn’t deal with issues in her novels. We learn in this novel that something has happened within Leena’s family, and that has had lasting effects. O’Leary creates rounded characters and a variety of issues are presented, all of which kept me tied to this novel and its characters.
Something that interested me about this novel were the differences between Leena’s generation and that of Eileen. I enjoyed the relationships between the different generations and the idea that we can learn from each other and that age doesn’t have to separate us. I also felt that there was a feminist element to the novel when looking that the lives that the ladies of Eileen’s generation lived in comparison to the way Leena and her friends live.
I had a clear sense of the characters in this novel, and I particularly loved Eileen. Her attitude to life is something that I would love to learn from and try to adopt. I really liked Leena as well and these two main characters worked beautifully as alternate chapters in this novel. Their relationship with each other was lovely, and I adored how they both got stuck in to their switched lives.
One of the things I loved about the plot of this novel is how many of O’Leary’s great characters we meet and the relationships that she explores. As Leena and Eileen become immersed in their switched lives, they also become entwined with other people and their lives too. There was a real feeling of community and helping others in this novel and that made for a cosy, warm feeling as I was reading.
Of course, I loved the romance elements of The Switch as well. I love a romance novel and this one was wonderful. I enjoyed that O’Leary explored different romances and relationships, whether it be online dating, married life, unhealthy relationships, a new family or falling in love. I liked that there was a spectrum of relationships to read and think about and O’Leary portrayed them all convincingly.
Overall, I think that this novel carries some great life lessons within it, I loved the characters that O’Leary has created and I felt warm and uplifted by it. I definitely recommend this novel, and I hope you enjoy reading The Switch, I know that I did.
If you enjoyed The Flat Share and The Switch, O’Leary’s new novel, The Road Trip, will be released Spring 2021 and I’m already looking forward to it.
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