Book Review | The Secret Life of Albert Entwistle, Matt Cain

Goodreads Blurb:

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.

My Thoughts:

Oh my, this novel brought up all the emotions! And I absolutely loved it! Wonderful, vibrant characters, a sweet story line, personal growth, and a search for a lost love – what more could I want?

This novel was beautifully plotted, and while it was slow to start but I found it worked for me. In that wonderfully trundling slowness I saw how Alberts life was for him as he trudged through his day to day routine. There was something so beautifully simple about the story that made it even more charming for me. There was a lot of depth to story that shone through in both the plot and the characters. The characters in this story are what really brought the joy for me, and I loved the side characters and how fleshed out they were just as much as Albert which was so nice.

I loved that the story was told from two different points in Alberts life – I found switching between the two helped me to understand Albert more. It was interesting seeing how his early life and his relationship with his parents then affected him so much later in his life. This is so true of so many gay men of that time that it makes the story all the more heartbreaking. Though it was heartbreaking with a hopeful end, which I really loved. The end of this edition of the novel also included some interviews with gay men of Albert’s age with similar stories to Albert’s. I think this was a really lovely addition at the end.

Despite the very painful reality of Albert’s situation and his story, there is some really clever humour amongst the heartfelt or emotional moments of self reflection. These moments really make this novel an absolute joy to read!


Thank you to the author, the publisher, and NetGalley for sending me this free eARC (eAdvanced Reader Copy). I am leaving this review voluntarily. This title was published 31st May 2022.

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