Book review: The Switch by Beth O'Leary

 Well hello to you my reader chums! Beth O'Leary is an author I absolutely adore and I loved The Flat Share so much that I couldn't wait to pick up her other novels The Switch and The Road Trip (currently on my TBR pile.) I can safely say that The Switch lived up to every good expectation I thought it would be.

Beth has this writing style that I love in how she paces out a story and this was apparent as much in The Switch. If you're looking for a new, easy, and surprisingly deep read, here is my full review of The Switch by Beth O'Leary.

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Book review: The Switch by Beth O'Leary


The plot follows the lives of Leena and her grandma, Eileen, as the book is split into both of their perspectives. Leena just blew a huge presentation at work and is asked to take a two-month sabbatical and decides to escape to her grandma's house up north for some much-needed rest. Whilst, Eileen, who is about to turn eighty and newly single is on the search for her second chance at love but her tiny village doesn't exactly have many options. This is where the life switch happens. 

Leena is faced with many unruly OAPs to contend with and a handsome school teacher that she soon realises, this switch isn't straightforward. Eileen on the other hand is thrown into the London way of life, who soon becomes a big hit with the neighbours and a gem in the new online dating world. However, is the love she seeks closer to home than she thinks?

Characters and relationships

My favorite thing about this plot is that it's character-driven and there is a huge emphasis on the growth of the characters and relationships too. I have to start by talking about Eileen. She reminded me of my nan the whole way through the novel as she's honest, fiery and fun, not a typical old biddy and I loved that. I loved reading her quirk and charm scatter through the pages as she talks to her family, friends, and new people along the way. Reading her navigate London life at first is so innocent and I loved that because there was a real authenticity about her experience and growth. Leena is a typical twenty-something-year-old woman and I related to her on so many levels, especially how she is always such a busy bee and needs to be doing something. Reading about her transporting from a busy way of life to the slow pace of a northern village is everything, as it's a great reminder that we all need to take a break and appreciate the little things.

Leena and Eileen's bond is iconic really. It was so interesting how by living each other's lives, they learnt more about each other and in turn, their relationship grew for the better and they became closer than ever. It was such a feel-good bond to read about. I also loved learning more about all the village characters including Betsy, Arnold, and Jackson, and how their lives all intertwined so much with Eileen's and then Leena whilst she lived there. It really showed the true reality of village life. Bee, one of Leena's best pals was also a favourite character of mine as she was everything you need in the best pal and that love shined through.

Leena's connection with her mum was also something noteworthy as moving to her grandma's village gave her the opportunity to reconnect with her and forgive, and it's a journey that adds depth to the book after the loss of her sister.

Overall thoughts 

Overall, this book was such a wholesome read and a story I didn't want to put down. I felt so invested in the characters' lives and the antics that went on with them. From arranging the village festival for Leena to going on a first date with Eileen after decades, the experiences felt so real, raw, and honest, and like there was a truly personal insight to them. It's one of those books where the characters felt like real people and there was a real connection between reading and learning more about them. This is one of the reasons I love character-driven plots as I can read more about the journey the character goes on and get to grips with the deepness of that, rather than a busy plotline.

This book left me feeling many emotions after each chapter but also one of gratitude as it really showed the importance of connecting with family, friends, and of course, love. I love how Leena learnt many life lessons and I was learning them with her as I kept reading on.


Like always, I'm not going to ruin the ending. However, what I would say is that it ended on a light and satisfying note in a way that was owed to both Leena and Eileen as characters. After going with them on their story, I wanted an ending that sat right for them and that's exactly what happened.

I hope you enjoyed this review of The Switch - buy your copy here. Have you read any of Beth O'Leary's books?

Thank you for reading <3

1 comment

  1. I absolutely loved this book when I read it last year, a simple yet heart-warming read! Everybody needs a Nan like Eileen! x

    Lucy |


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