‘The Switch’ – Beth O’Leary

Two remarkably similar characters, a generation apart, but it takes quite a shift in circumstances for them to learn a little about themselves in this unapologetically heart-warming book.

Our focus is the Cotton family. It’s almost a year since Leena’s sister died of cancer. Since then she’s withdrawn from her family and thrown herself into her work. When we meet Leena she’s clearly experiencing extreme stress – and is horrified when her boss offers her paid leave for two months.

Many people might wallow at home for a bit then go on holiday. Leena takes herself off to Yorkshire to visit her grandmother, Eileen, and it’s at this point they come up with the madcap idea to switch lives.

What follows is highly obvious, and nothing happens very quickly, but it’s infectiously positive and I ended it feeling as if everyone involved in this large cast of characters had experienced their own personal journey. Nothing earth-shattering here, but good-humoured and it did (in a light-hearted way) try to examine some hard-to-hear issues. I defy anyone not to fall in love with Eileen!