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Publisher's Summary

2022 Audie Award Finalist for Humor

Two moms as opposite as a Happy Meal and a quinoa bowl. What a difference a week makes in a heartfelt, laugh-out-loud novel by the Washington Post bestselling author of The Overdue Life of Amy Byler.

Celeste Mason is the Pinterest stay-at-home supermom of other mothers’ nightmares. Despite her all-organic, SunButter-loving, free-range kids, her immaculate home, and her volunteering awards, she still has time to relax with a nice glass of pinot at the end of the day. The only thing that ruins it all is her workaholic, career-obsessed neighbor, who makes no secret of what she thinks of Celeste’s life choices every chance she gets.

Wendy Charles is a celebrated productivity consultant, columnist, and speaker. On a minute-by-minute schedule, she makes the working-mom hustle look easy. She even spends at least one waking hour a day with her kids. She’s not apologizing for a thing. Especially to Celeste, who plays her superior parenting against Wendy whenever she can.

Who do Celeste and Wendy think they are? They’re about to find out thanks to one freaky week. After a neighborhood potluck and too much sangria, they wake up—um, what?—in each other’s bodies. Everything Celeste and Wendy thought they knew about the “other kind of mom” is flipped upside down—along with their messy, complicated, maybe not so different lives.

©2021 by Kelly Harms. (P)2021 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

Critic Reviews

“Narrators Arielle DeLisle and Megan Tusing portray the two halves that make up this hilarious story based on switched identities. DeLisle and Tusing give voice to two very different mothering styles in Celeste and Wendy…. The narrators do an excellent job of maximizing the humor behind Celeste as the workaholic Wendy and Wendy as the Pinterest-perfect Celeste. In a premise rife for comedy, DeLisle and Tusing give lively performances that will have listeners laughing out loud. Their nuanced characterizations, a slightly Southern cadence for Wendy, a very high strung personality for Celeste, make it easier to keep track of whose mind we are in, regardless of their mismatched bodies.” AudioFile Magazine

“Both Tusing and DeLisle turn in truly excellent performances as Wendy and Celeste. Always-on-the-go Wendy has a warm southern accent that can exude charm and humor or deliver barbs with equal force. Celeste, a transplant from the Midwest, is generally warm and optimistic, but also firm. Both narrators fully embody every aspect, good and bad, of these women as Harms slowly reveals their layers, allowing listeners to connect with both even as the women clash with each other.” Booklist

“Making a compelling case for moderation in all things, Harms (The Bright Side of Going Dark, 2020) paints her heroines as flawed but loving mothers, each managing in the best way she knows how. The most clever and incisive take on the Mommy Wars since Allison Pearson’s I Don’t Know How She Does It, Harms’s latest captures the messy, complicated, and often all-consuming mindset of motherhood.” Booklist (starred review)

What listeners say about The Seven Day Switch

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

A new twist on an old theme

The walk-a-mile-in-my-shoes identity swap has potential for both empathy and comedy, but it’s nothing new. Mark Twain did it with lookalikes in “The Prince and the Pauper” (1881). Fantasy writers took it from there for its comical value: Thomas Anstey Guthrie used a father-son body swap in “Vice Versa” (1914), Thorne Smith did husband-wife in “Turnabout” (1931), and Mary Rodgers created the well-known mother-daughter swap in “Freaky Friday” (1972).

All those books have been made and remade into comedy films, most notably Disney’s “Friday” remakes for each teenage generation: 1976, 1995, 2003, 2018. This has led to a slew of variations on the theme over the last 50 years. All are long on the comedy; most are short on the empathy.

So when Kelly Harms took the theme to women’s literature—a genre I admittedly know little about—I expected that the emphasis would be more on the empathy and less on the slapstick. She delivers—the story is still bright and warm, and there’s less of the goofy, silly treatment that you’d see in movies. It’s mom humor (with a token dad joke). That’s good stuff.

The problem is the empathy. It takes a long time getting there. As several readers have pointed out in online reviews, when we meet both central characters, they are living shallow, cynical, judgmental lives. Frankly, the reader has little reason to care much about what happens to these people. The mothers introduce their families, also judgmentally, and so there’s very little for the reader to like about anyone in this neighborhood.

Both characters go through life-changing crises and revelations while in the other’s shoes, and of course there is an ending that is good and happy for all. But it would have been easier to enjoy the book if we’d seen from the beginning that both moms had something endearing about them.

Granted, that’s hard to do given the structure of the narrative, which is done by alternating first-person interior monologues by the moms. In order to see breakthroughs in sympathetic character development, you have to suffer through unhappy, unpleasant characters through the first half of the book.

I started this book as a free Kindle Unlimited read, but my subscription ran out halfway through. It wasn’t enough to compel me to renew my subscription, but after a day or so I downloaded the audiobook through Audible to give it a fair review.

The alternating first-person narrative proved a challenge to the two performers as well. One character has a clipped, northern accent; the other has a southern drawl. In reading the first-person narratives, the performers must apply their character’s voice during the narration and affect other characters’ voices during their telling of the dialogue. But when the switch occurs, each character now speaks her dialogue with the voice and dialect of the body she’s in. I had trouble following that at first in the audiobook, and had to give it a second listen.

Overall, “The Seven Day Switch” is a pleasant summer read (or listen), but not as endearing as I had hoped.

3 people found this helpful

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Kelly does it again!

Kelly turns an old story around and makes it her own. Funny, quirky and real.

3 people found this helpful

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Predictable but fun read

I have always enjoyed books by Kelly Harms and this was no different. Is it a remake, in some way, of Freaky Friday? Maybe, but if you are just reading a summer book for the joy of reading, let your biases go and just enjoy it!

A little predictable, maybe, but there is something every mom who ever tried to be perfect will laugh out loud at. You might actually be able to relate and try a little harder to be nice to that too perfect stay at home mom, all the while you give the I can have it all, a whirl and secretly failing.

The funny parts are really funny! You will see your mom self somewhere and relate. If you are a book snob, don’t bother, you’ll find fault, but if you are just up for a fun summer read, take it at face value and just enjoy the dialogue and get yourself engrossed in the flawed, but realistic, characters.

2 people found this helpful

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Just ‘Perfect’!

I simply loved this book. I love how it transported me to so many perspectives and possibilities. I learned a lot about who I am and who I want to be as a mother, a wife, and a friend from this beautifully and cleverly written story, performed by two fabulous narrators. There’s no such thing as ‘normal’ or even ‘perfect’ when it comes to doing your best and being open. There’s always more to everyone’s story! We could all afford a body swap to help us see things more clearly if you ask me! 💛

2 people found this helpful

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Awesome!!

Loved it!! Characters so likable & great narration. Wonderful story with a message, told with humor & emotion. I highly recommend this book to all women!!!!!!!!!!!!!! For the male reader, it will help him understand women a bit more, which can't hurt❤

2 people found this helpful

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Exceptional Performance

Although the story itself seems like a familiar one at first, you will be delighted by by the unique perspectives offered. As a mom who has experienced my family role from “both sides of the rose bush” (reference from the book itself), I found this highly relatable. Heck, as a person who experiences society in general and societal pressure and the pressure I inflict on myself—this was surprisingly inspiring!
It’s a fun, lighter read with quickly knowable characters and a universal message that maybe we could all “do less”.
Last but not least: the performance was maybe the best I’ve heard yet and is actually pretty integral to the story (you’ll see).
Download if you’re looking for a fun listen!

1 person found this helpful

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Freaky Friday but Not Freaky Friday

I found this on Kindle Unlimited as a Read and Listen Free so picked it up since I was out of credits and didn't want to spend money.

The book is a lot of fun, very enjoyable. My son would call it "chick lit" as the story is about two mothers who body switch.

The moms are neighbors who don't like each other, one is a stay at home mom who is like Martha Stewart with all of her fancy meals, decorations, etc and the other is a working mom who barely finds enough hours in the day to sleep let alone do anything else besides work.

The story pokes fun at being a similar premise to Freaky Friday, the characters remind themselves that was a work of fiction but this is real.

The narrators did a great job. Each narrator does a different mother so it's easy to figure out which character is talking.

I am very glad i picked up this book and hope you give it a try regardless of the way you come across it.

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Clever plot, excellent writing, super performances

Why I liked this book: the characters kept the plot moving. The performers pulled off a coup of audio artistry by keeping clear the personalities switched into each other's bodies and therefore plunked into each other's fast moving lives and families. I wasn't confused while listening.

Insight I gained: I'm considerably older than the lead characters, finished with the 'season' their lives are struggling through. Yet I could empathise fully with their challenges. I wish I could have said to them: you are making life so much harder for yourselves by criticizing yourselves so severely as you strive.

What I found lacking or what I questioned: a spiritual dimension seemed missing from all the characters. This story would have been so much richer had the inner part of life been considered.

Recommendation: very entertaining light listen.

1 person found this helpful

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Made it seem like homemakers have it easy

I have worked full time as as mother of 2 small children and I have stayed home at times with my children as well. Staying home is not a glorified, easy thing. If the author had written this differently with the husband's swapped this would be a different read all together. Husbands make or break it for women, whether the wife is working or not. When I was working full time it was so nice to have my husband helping with the children, arranging daycare and the like, getting the children off to school, etc. He worked from home so he could manage those things. It made life easier for me so I could focus on my work while I was there. I wish the author had the husband and wife switch so the dead beat artist husband could have seen how hard it was for his wife to do everything. That's what needed changed. Now that I work part time I actually feel like work is a nice break from the craziness of home life. At least at work I get a lunch break!

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I loved it!!

I loved it, the dynamic of these two strong women living completely different lives and they learn so much about themselves through this experience.