This is the first book in the Campus trilogy. In it, a university professor from Rummidge (a loosely disguised Birmingham) gets to swap places with one from California. The British professor is rather unsuccessful, the American one quite successful; and yet the swap works so well for both that they consider swapping not just lives but wives as well. The novel is enjoyably comic. Here we are on a Sunday walk: " . . .to try and find some new, pointless destination for a drive, or to trudge out to one of the local parks, where other little knots of people wander listlessly, like lost souls in hell, blown by the gritty wind amid whirlpools of litter and dead leaves, past creaking swings and deserted football pitches, stagnant ponds and artificial lakes where rowing boats are chained up, by Sabbatarian decree, as if to emphasize the impossibility of escape. La nausee, Rummidge-style."
I can't tell you if the couples do complete the swap, because the novel ends quite randomly mid-plot point. And Refer here's how I feel about that sort of thing . . .