Title: The Secret Life of Albert Entwistle
Author: Matt Cain
Narrator: Simon Vance
Genre: Fiction, LGBTQIA+
Publisher: Recorded Books, Inc.
Read: June of 2022
Length: 10 Hours, 49 Minutes
Rating: 4 Caffeinated Stars
Content Warnings: Mention of Miscarriages, homophobia, death of a pet, fatphobia, misogynism, Abusive parents, Abusive Cops, Xenophobia
In a humorous, charmingly wise novel perfect for fans of Fredrik Backman and TJ Klune, the forced retirement of a shy, closeted postman in northern England creates the opportunity for him to track down his lost love, embrace his true self, connect with his community, and finally experience his life’s great adventure….
Every day, Albert Entwistle makes 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?” Everyone on his route knows Albert, or thinks they do—a man of quiet routines, content to live alone with his cat, Gracie.
Three months before his sixty-fifth birthday, Albert receives a letter from the Royal Mail thanking him for decades of service and stating that he is being forced into retirement. At once, Albert’s simple life unravels. Without the work that fills his days, what will he do? 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, to be honest about who he is…and to find George, the man with whom he spent one perfect spring and summer long ago.
One painful yet exhilarating step at a time, Albert begins searching for George and revealing his story to those around him. As he does, something extraordinary happens. Albert finds unlikely allies, new friends, and the courage to help others—even as he seeks the happiness he’s always denied himself.
Beautifully written, funny, and wise, The Secret Life of Albert Entwistle is a book to fall in love with and to be inspired by, one that proves it is never too late to live, to hope, and to love.
First off, I really want to thank Libro.FM and Recorded Books for the copy of this book! I enjoyed this book and loved the characters. It was inspiring as a late-in-life pansexual to read a book about a 60+-year-old finally living his truth. If it weren’t for the casual fatphobia in the book, this would have easily been a 5-star read. Unfortunately, with the continual use of “don’t get fat” comments, this book got an automatic 1-star reduction.
Outside of the fat comments, this book was beautifully done. I loved watching Albert start to open up and see him express himself more. It was charming to see him grow. It was also heartwarming to see him make friends and embrace who he truly was. Outside of a few characters, I loved them all. The cast of characters were fantastic.
The plot itself was fun, and I got sucked into it, which was refreshing from the nonfiction books I have been reading. What I loved the most about this book was that it showed the struggle that the LGBTQIA+ have gone through. I think part of being in the community is learning about our community’s history. This book did that. It showed how hard the older generation had it in terms of acceptance but still had the joy of our society today. I especially liked the end part, where we heard stories from the older generation in their own words. It really puts things in perspective.
All in all, I liked this book. It’s a great reminder to live your life proudly so that you don’t look back in 50 years with all the what-ifs.