Review: The Secret Life of Albert Entwistle by Matt Cain

Title: The Secret Life of Albert Entwistle
Author:  Matt Cain
Source: Netgalley. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Genre: Coming of Age (at any age), Romance, Self-Discovery
Trigger Warning: Period typical homophobia (the 60s), and current state homophobia, talk of criminalization of homosexuality.
Summary: Albert Entwistle is a private man with a quiet, simple life. He lives alone with his cat Gracie. And he’s a postman. At least he was a postman until, three months before his sixty-fifth birthday, he receives a letter from the Royal Mail thanking him for decades of service and stating he is being forced into retirement.

At once, Albert’s sole connection with his world unravels. Every day as a mail carrier, he would make his way through the streets of his small English town, delivering letters and parcels and returning greetings with a quick wave and a “how do?” Without the work that fills his days, what will be the point? He has no friends, family, or hobbies—just a past he never speaks of, and a lost love that fills him with regret.

And so, rather than continue his lonely existence, Albert forms a brave plan to start truly living. It’s finally time to be honest about who he is. To seek the happiness he’s always denied himself. And to find the courage to look for George, the man that, many years ago, he loved and lost—but has never forgotten. As he does, something extraordinary happens. Albert finds unlikely allies, new friends, and proves it’s never too late to live, to hope, and to love. 

There are characters who you forget the moment you close the page of a book. There are other characters that burrow themselves into your chest and stay with you for a while. These characters are important. They remind you of something you might be forgetting, encouraging you on and having your back all at the same time.

They feel like family. They feel like long-lasting friendships that care for you and nurture you.

Albert Entwistle feels like family. He is the reminder that it is never too late to find love, to live your life and learn how to be your most authentic self.

I love Albert. And I love this book so much it will probably be one of my most vocally supported in the coming months whenever anyone asks me what they should get for their partners, friends and family.

The bravery in the pages of this novel are as breathtaking as the moments of complete and utter devastation.

The characters feel alive, like they could walk off the page into your living room and ask you if you want a cup of tea. Or a nice Crunchie bar if you’re really good.

The plot is a familiar one, but it is comforting and yes, at times extremely upsetting. This book will stick with you, and hopefully you’ll love it.

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