“That’s the way with old friends. You understand each other, even when there’s not enough words out there for everything that should be said.”
Why Did I Read This Book?
After finishing 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World, I was on the hunt for a light, easy read. The Switch has been on my TBR since finishing The Flatshare earlier this year. In a previous blog post (Authors I’ve Found in 2020 That I Now Love) I mentioned that Beth O’leary has easily become one of my favourite authors I’ve found this year, so of course I had to give her a second book a read.
What Did I Think?
The Switch was everything I hoped for and more. A heart-warming read that interestingly showed the importance and variance of happiness. What makes you happy, might not make another person happy and that’s OK.
The Switch follows our two protagonists and grandmother/granddaughter: Leena and Eileen Cotton. Both ladies are fed up with their lives and need something that can switch things up. Leena lives in London and has an incredibly busy and stressful life which has led to her developing unprovoked anxiety attacks and a two-month forced sabbatical. Eileen’s husband has run off with a yoga teacher and has left her lost in a world where she feels she no longer belongs.
The two decide to swap lives, with Eileen going to live in London with Leena’s young flatmates in a mission to get her love life back into action and Leena moves to a small town in the countryside and is thrown into festival planning with the local unruly pensioners.
The things I love about Beth O’Leary’s books is her comedy and ability to sum feelings and experiences up in a way that makes you question how you feel and how you react to certain events. For example, Leena is obviously punishing herself and hiding her grief after the loss of her sister to cancer by keeping herself unbelievably busy and distant.
“You were healing. You’re still healing. You’ll maybe always be healing. And that’s OK. It’ll just be part of what makes you you.”
Although I have never experienced grief myself, I could relate to the way Leena behaves when I try and escape my problems by keeping busy and aloof. There was certainly a lightbulb moment whilst reading this book where I could relate to how Leena was behaving and why.
I would definitely say though that I enjoyed Eileen’s story more because it was great to see her adapt to modern dating and the laughs she had along the way. Especially some of her horrific Tinder experiences…
The story reminded me of a non-Christmas version of The Holiday and similar to a book I read earlier this year called The Lido in the depiction of young/old relationships. It was certainly one I enjoyed and one I definitely needed to read.