The Secret Life of Albert Entwhistle book review

Albert
The Secret Life of Albert Entwistle by Matt Cain
384 pages
published May 31st, 2022

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…

“This rollicking romance entrapped me! True in its detail and its scope, it is amusing yet heart-breaking.” —Ian McKellen

Indie Next List Selection | Library Reads Selection

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.

A Note from Matt Cain, the author of The Secret Life of Albert Entwistle:

“One of the things that inspired me to write this novel was all the joy I felt at seeing gay men like myself being embraced by British society. I think you’d be hard-pushed to find any other minority community in the UK that was as hated, feared and vilified as gay men were fifty years ago and is now as widely celebrated and loved. Acceptance of gay men has become a touchstone of British values within less than a decade, something that even the most optimistic commentators couldn’t have predicted. I wanted to write a book that would celebrate this. And I sincerely hope The Secret Life of Albert Entwistle makes its readers feel good about themselves and the part they’ve played in bringing about this extraordinary social shift.” —Matt Cain

Unfortunately I think that Albert is portrayed as kind of autistic and he unravels his autism by accepting himself and this is seen as a Good Thing. I found this to be Kind of Inspiration Porn. Let A Man Have His Quiet Routines And Struggle To Get Out Of Them Because They are How He Copes. I guess I expected this book to be cozier than it ended up being. I also found the writing to be kind of repetitive. Two stars.

Bookshop link here.

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