Sunday, May 17, 2020

When driven career-girl Leena has an public humiliation at work, she’s directed by her boss to take two months off work to sort herself out.  She has a flat in London complete with quirky roommates and a boyfriend, but suddenly all she wants to do is travel back to the small Yorkshire village where she has her roots.  Her grandmother, Eileen, is still smarting from her husband leaving her for another woman.  As each woman finds herself at a crossroads, they decide to swap lives in The Switch.

Leena soon has to come to grips with the many activities her grandmother has left for her.  She has to chair the Neighborhood Watch meetings, drive the van to bingo for elderly local residents, plan the May Day Festival, and walk the dog of one of the village residents.  It’s a full calendar of events, but organized, take-charge Leena sees no problem in getting it all done.

Eileen, who married young and left behind her dreams of big-city life, also soon finds many projects to keep her busy in London.  Number one on her agenda:  put a dating profile out there and learn to use it.  She gets help with this from Bee, Leena’s best friend.  Soon she is arranging dates as well as attempting to get to know all the neighbors in the apartment building.  In the big city, where people generally don’t know their neighbors, this takes a bit of determination and dedication.

Complicating matters even further, Leena has still not really had time to process the recent death of her sister Carla.  She had a huge disagreement with her mother over Carla’s treatment, and their relationship has been on shaky ground ever since.  Since her mother lives in the village, though, unexpected encounters are sure to occur.

Both Eileen and Leena adapt quickly to their changed surroundings.  Away from their usual routines, they can take stock and see what they need to change in order to be happy.  Not only their lives, but those of the people they interact with, are shaken up and impacted in ways that they didn’t expect.  Reading about Eileen’s adventures makes you realize that all that reaching out to those around you can yield unexpected results.  Many of the events that eventually play out are not unexpected, but the journey that both women take is enjoyable and heartwarming.

I received a copy of The Switch from Netgalley in exchange for this review.


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I'm a librarian who is interested in all things British. I try to visit London as often as possible, and am always planning my next trip. I lived in Sweden for a few years with my Swedish husband, so the occasional Swedish reference may occur . . .

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