The Switch by Beth O’Leary – Review

Just put this on my reading list although I don’t think my LA daughter would want to switch locals with me.

Books for the Living

The Switch by Beth O’Leary
Quercus (UK) / April 16, 2020
Flatiron Books (US) / August 18, 2020
Fiction, Contemporary
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Eileen is sick of being 79.
Leena’s tired of life in her twenties.
Maybe it’s time they swapped places…

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 solution: 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…

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The Bookshops of Yesterday’s

I love bookshops, wandering and looking at book titles, book covers, promoted books etc brings me much joy. So when I saw this book in the Amazon Prime store, I bought it.

It’s the story of a young woman who left home in CA and now teaches in Philadelphia. One day she receives notification that her long estranged uncle has died. Accompanying this news is a quote from Shakespeare’s play Prospero. This begins a search for clues left by her late uncle to her her understand why he left her the bookstore he owned, aptly named Prospero.

It didn’t take me long to figure out the truth which her uncle wants her to unravel and understand. So the rest of the book seemed long and I pushed through it just to finish it. I felt given it’s present day time setting, the plot was a little far fetched.

I give it 2 stars.

The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir by Jennifer Ryan

The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir by Jennifer Ryan is set in a small village not too far from Dover, England. Due to WWII life has changed for many. The local Vicar has decided due to the lack of men the choir will shut down, just at a time when people need music to lift their spirits. Music can express what we feel.

Through a newly arrived music teacher, the local women, and one young teenager’s enthusiasm the choir continues and blossoms. While the choir may be small, the women find both their singing voice and their previously unknown strengths.

The story follows the lives of several choir members through a format of letters and journal entries. This village is not spared the danger of WWII. Heartache, worry, hope, love all find their way into the lives of the women.

I enjoyed this book, although I had to go back a few times initially to keep track of the many characters. Life, no matter what it brings our way, is much easier to face with the support and encouragement of friends.

4 stars

To Die but once by Jacqueline Winspear

The latest in the Maisie Dobbs series centers around a missing boy who turns up dead. The catch? Why did someone kill him or was it an accident caused by the damage his brain was suffering due to exposure of dangerous chemicals?

Maisie Dobbs is one of my favorite book characters. She is calm when I’m fidgety. Maisie thinks things through, while I dive in without a thought. She is now rich and I am not. And Maisie has found peace in her life, while I’m still working on it.

Set at the beginning of WWII, Maisie is reminded of her days in France in WWI. Her friends’ and co-worker’s sons are serving and a son disappears. Twists and turns around every corner. Dunkirk is even part of this book.

I highly recommend this book but caution it is #14 in the series and time has passed steadily in the series. The series progresses through time. Book #1 begins with the prelude to WWI and the war begins in the first book. My suggestion is read book one and go from there but enough of the past is filled in you can enjoy To Die but Once as an individual read.

The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick

I went to Half Price Books when my daughter was visiting and picked up a few books. Having no idea what this book was about, I chose it because of its title.

Arthur is a widower of a year and stuck in a rut. His adult children have drifted away. Each day consists of his very strict routine. Arthur never varies it because the routine helps him feel in control.

One day he bravely faces the task of going through his wife’s things and in the bottom of a boot he finds a mysterious gold charm bracelet which belonged to his deceased wife. This bracelet with exotic and beautiful charms sends Arthur on a journey which ultimately changes his life.

A warm and inspiring tale, this book made me laugh and cry. While I am not a widow, I have found myself divorced after 30 years of marriage. And this unexpected event in my life forced me on a journey which until recently has been very rocky, so I’m so many was I identified with Arthur. Set in England, Arthur questions his 40+ year marriage and asks himself, ‘Was my wife happy in our marriage?’ He finds his answer but it isn’t an easy journey.

5 stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

The Struggle is Real


Have you ever started reading a book, found yourself halfway through it and realized you don’t like the book? That is the quandary I am in now. Do you finish the book? Push through it? Or do you say, forget it, there are too many other books I want to read to waste my time on this one?


Coming Soon

I am in the process of doing a final edit of my first book. My daughter is designing the cover using the above photo from Pixabay.

The title is Unpacking dreams and it is a story of a young woman who has had her love life and career dreams crushed. She returns home to Dallas to find love and start a business from scratch. 

Strange and unexplainable connections to the past begin to pop up in her life. How is she connected to those who have come before her with broken dreams? Does she help them fulfill them?