“Check it out Grandma, Four hundred men just waiting to meet you in London.”
Beth O’Leary’s amusing novel, The Switch, is a version of the Country Mouse and The City Mouse, but in this case we have a septuagenarian grandmother and her grief stricken single granddaughter.
Leena, still reeling from the death of her sister from cancer, suffers a full blown anxiety attack while giving a presentation at work. She is ordered to take a two month holiday. Most people would jump at the chance, but the prospect of leaving the crutch of her work routines is daunting. Meanwhile Leena’s grandmother, now on her own since her errant hubbie ran off with his dance instructor, trolls the local dating prospects. Slim pickings.
Leena suggests a house swap, so Eileen travels to London under the assumption that there are more eligible men there swarming the streets, while Leena moves up to Yorkshire to take care of her grandmother’s home and rest in the countryside….
The Switch is a light breezy read, leaning towards chick lit–were it not for the fact that Eileen is in her 70s. Hold on… I take that back, this still seems like chick-lit. Leena is concerned about her career and finding solace after her sister’s death which caused an estrangement with her mother. Eileen, instead of drowning in self-pity at her husband’s desertion, is convinced that there’s still time for romance in her life.
This is not a typical read for me, but I listened to the audio book version. Eileen’s sections were read by Alison Steadman, and she’s an actress I like to watch so I reasoned I’d like to listen to her too. Leena’s sections were read by Daisy-Edgar Jones. I must say that I enjoyed Eileen’s sections far more, as her voice is rich, deep and pleasant to listen to. Leena isn’t as much fun to listen to, or read about. Dating, well the dating antics of others are always fun to watch or read about, and Eileen jumps right into internet dating, dauntlessly. It’s never too late to admit you’re lonely.
Woven with optimism and a zest for life, this is a light read. This would make a good TV series.