Bold Book Review: The Switch by Beth O’Leary

A story about family and finding love at any age

The Switch title image

Here at Bold we love a feel good story. This week our good friend Mel from A Cosy Reader is sharing her thoughts on Beth O'Leary's The Switch. 


When overachiever Leena Cotton is ordered to take a two-month sabbatical after blowing a big presentation at work, she escapes to her grandmother Eileen’s house for some overdue rest. Eileen is newly single and about to turn eighty. She’d like a second chance at love, but her tiny Yorkshire village doesn’t offer many eligible gentlemen.

Once Leena learns of Eileen’s romantic predicament, she proposes a two-month swap. Eileen can live in London and look for love. Meanwhile Leena will look after everything in rural Yorkshire. But with gossiping neighbours and difficult family dynamics to navigate up north, and trendy London flatmates and online dating to contend with in the city, stepping into one another’s shoes proves more difficult than either of them expected.

Paraphrased from Booktopia.


Well my friends, if you are looking for a contemporary read that’s bursting with charm, wit, emotion, and humour – look no further! With a wonderful cast of characters and two lead women you’ll fall in love with (& laugh with & cry with…), O’Leary has absolutely nailed the follow up to her stunning debut, The Flatshare 

Beth O’Leary is a master at exploring grief, family, and relationships in the context of contemporary romance lit, and it’s refreshing to pick up a book in this genre knowing I’ll get a page-turning read with substance, heart, AND characters I’ll fall in love with. I appreciate that the side-characters are also fleshed out and have their own small character arcs within the novel as well – it makes you feel like you’re truly peeking in to Eileen & Leena’s life, where their friends are so much a part of the action,  not merely there to ‘fill out’ the story.

Some scenes gave me A Man Called Ove vibes, as the ‘Neighbourhood Watch’ meetings are full or grumpy, hilarious, nit-picking elderly characters. BUT AGAIN, they aren’t too big caricatures and still feel like genuine characters rather than comic relief. (Guys, did I mention I love the characters?).

I loved the not-quite-schemes of Eileen, and the way they helped each character find what they needed. We all need an Eileen in our life – I hope you find (or have already found) yours.


Read if: You enjoy uplifting reads, contemporary romances, or stories about friendship, family, grief, and redemption.

Content Warning: Death of a sibling to cancer, non-graphic domestic abuse

Page Length: 328

Publisher: Quercus (a Hachette Company)

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Like this review? Get more book recommendations and insights from Mel on her Instagram here