The Switch follows Leena Cotton, a workaholic who lives in London, is forced to take a two month sabbatical, and decided to switch houses/places with her grandmother Eileen Cotton, because she is tired of her life and is ready for a change. Eileen is about to turn 80 and is wondering if all her life is made of managing the retiree committee for the “over 70s” in her Yorkshire village. After a divorce from her cheating husband, and constantly watching her daughter after the loss of her daughter, Eileen needs to find herself, and what better way to do so than to escape away to Leena’s flat in London… where the bachelor pool is a little less shallow.
Thank you Netgalley, Beth O’Leary and Quercus for my advanced Audio Copy of <I> The Switch After reading The Flatshare I knew I had to get my hands on this book.
Leena’s POV was enjoyable and it the beginning was my favorite. I felt for her as she navigated through her feelings and grief after losing her sister, and the grudge she held against her mother Marian who she blamed for her sister’s death. Leena goes from surrounded by people and friends her age, a job she thinks she loves, a boyfriend who has been her rock and safety blanket and a world a touch away with all the technology at her fingertips to a slower paced village, a new friend (actually the only one her age in the community) Jackson, and the rest of her friends over the age of 60. Her closest touch to her old reality is the brick phone her grandmother left her. Leena must learn to heal… and healing sometimes is the most raw and vulnerable feeling we can put ourselves through.
“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.”
Eileen ended up being my absolute favorite. Her strength, resilience, and kindness had me leaning in closure to hear her story. Her friendships were my favorite and I loved her being so adventurous trying out online dating. From seeing genitals in her tea leaves, receiving private pictures of mens “unmentionables” and the moments of acceptance she found in her time away from home, Eileen had me laughing out loud as I cleaned my house and then she had me crying.
Eileen reminded me so much of my grandmother with her free spirit and bold personality. There were so many things Eileen got to experience that I wish my grandmother would have had the chance to if she wouldn’t of lost the battle to COPD. Traveling, wearing clothes she never thought she would, living without limits or fear, making new friends, dating, flirting, and just living❤️.
I have a little bit of my grandmother’s spirit. The desire to travel, experience life, love fiercely, and do all we can for our family. When I travel now I feel her with me, when I read a novel with a heartbreaking story, or a swoon-worthy romance, I think of her. When I have my family close, I miss her there. Grief and loss hits everyone different. And I loved that part of The Switch and how Beth so gracefully navigated that feeling so differently in 3 main characters. Sometimes we drown in it, sometimes we place blame, sometimes we are in denial.. but in the end what’s important is acceptance. Acceptance of their bodily form no longer with us, but also the beauty of feeling them in every part of our daily lives. Whether it is wearing the jewelry she loved, the book they shared, or finding joy in similar things.. we they are with us, even when their voice can’t be heard and their touch can’t be felt. I don’t believe we were meant to understand death, so I don’t know if we ever will.
“We don’t have any good words for talking about death – they’re all too small.”
The hole the is left when we have loss is real. We are expected to continue without them. To go on.
“When people talk about loss, they always say you’ll never be the same, that it will change you, leave a hole in your life. ( . . . ) But when you lose somebody you love, you don’t lose everything they gave you. They leave something with you.” – Eileen
Thank you Beth O’Leary for sharing a beautiful book with us as readers. I cried for the ones Ive lost and loved, I laughed for the hysterical moments you wrote, and I smiled for characters I fell in love with.
Cheers to being the best women we can be.
Ratings on this audio book:
🔥/5 steam level
A Poem Written by My Great Grandmother and Given to Me by my Grandma Terry
“Your Great grand mother wrote this for me at a low time. BUT IT FITS YOU PERFECTLY. You bring grace , joy and laughter wherever you go and most of all love . Proud I am of you. HAPPY BIRTHDAY SWEET DREYA.“- grandma Terry