Book Review – The Secret Life of Albert Entwistle

Title: The Secret Life of Albert Entwistle

Author: Matt Cain

Genre: Contemporary Fiction/ Romance/ LGBTQIA

Goodreads Rating: 4.57

My Rating:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Source: ARC

Synopsis:

It’s never too late to start your life’s big adventure . . .

Albert Entwistle was a postman. It was one of the few things everyone knew about him. And it was one of the few things he was comfortable with people knowing.

64-year-old Albert Entwistle has been a postie in a quiet town in Northern England for all his life, living alone since the death of his mam 18 years ago. He keeps himself to himself. He always has. But he’s just learned he’ll be forced to retire at his next birthday. With no friends and nothing to look forward to, the lonely future he faces terrifies him. He realises it’s finally time to be honest about who he is. He must learn to ask for what he wants. And he must find the courage to look for George, the man that, many years ago, he lost – but has never forgotten . . .

Join Albert as he sets out to find the long-lost love of his life, and has an unforgettable and completely life-affirming adventure on the way . . . This is a love story the like of which you have never read before!

My Review:

I’d like to thank Headline and Rosie Margesson for sending me a proof of this book.

All I can say is wow! How can I even begin to convey to you how incredible this book was? What Matt Cain has written is a pure gem and I am so pleased that I discovered Albert and his story.

Whilst reading this I felt so many emotions. Initially I was so sad for Albert and his lonely existence. The conversations he had with himself and Gracie showed he had so much insight to offer the world if only he would let himself be vulnerable. I cried for him and the life he could of lived, when he went into the locked room and found some memories from years ago. Then my sadness turned to hope as he embarked on his journey.

I felt so proud of him when he started to show his true colours but I could also understand his reservations about putting himself out in the world. I wanted to hold his hand as he took these brave steps and comfort him when he struggled. Luckily he had Nicole who was the perfect companion. She took Albert under her wing and helped him to soar into the world and land on his feet.

The mystery surrounding what happened to George and Albert was sprinkled throughout the book as Albert recalls memories from his past. During these moments it was clear to anyone just how much they loved each other and how happy they could be together. When their final moments were revealed I felt so angry and shocked. Matt Cain has opened my eyes to how life was for many people of the gay community in the 60’s and 70’s and I must admit I am slightly embarrassed at how little I knew. I had such admiration for George in those chapters for being brave enough to be who he was and stand up for what he believed in but I could also understand Albert’s reasons too. Had I been in his shoes I honestly don’t know what I would of done.

Whilst Albert and his story was incredible I couldn’t help but fall in love with all the other characters as well. Matt Cain delivered a cast of characters who all had their flaws and were very relatable. We had Nicole, the single mum who is a person of colour, trying to make something of her life and juggle a new relationship. The there’s Marjorie trying to send her terminally ill grandson on holiday and remain optimistic about her fundraising efforts. Dan and Daniel, were the new gay couple to arrive to the community and face the numerous questions about their lifestyle, and that’s just the top of the iceberg of characters. All the emotions I felt when reading this weren’t just for Albert but for all his new found friends .

To finish my review I am going to borrow a few words from Matt Cain that sum up exactly how I felt about this story…

“And if I love him a little bit more today, I’ll love him a whole lot more tomorrow.”

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