The Secret Life of Albert Entwistle by Matt Cain

Can Second Chances at Love Come Fifty Years Later?

I LOVED THIS BOOK SO MUCH! The Secret Life of Albert Entwistle is incredibly heartwarming and heartbreaking and so many other things all at the same time.

Ever since he was ripped away from his boyfriend, George, 50 years ago and endured unbearable cruelty at the hands of his parents, Albert Entwistle buried himself in his work as an English mail carrier and shut out the rest of the world. He avoids his co-workers and really any human interaction, and realizes the deep loneliness he’s feeling. But when he learns he’ll be forced to retire soon on his sixty-fifth birthday, he takes stock of his life and makes up his mind to get out of his comfort zone and try to find George.

Now, finding George requires talking to other people—Albert has no idea how to use social media, Google, or other modern ways of finding people. But he talks himself up and vows that he’ll see it through. Along the way, he learns to make connections with other people and becomes a thoughtful and caring friend, and also gains many caring friends himself. He also gains strength, little by little, to push himself and to finally come out to his co-workers and friends, who celebrate him and show him love.

The Secret Life of Albert Entwistle was possibly the sweetest and most endearing book I’ve ever read. Albert is just such a kind and gentle soul with the best heart. Yes, he’s frustrating at times, as we go through moments where he should speak up and experience some cowardice, and we’re reminded how difficult it can be to stand up for what’s right even in the face of bullies and seemingly insurmountable power. And Albert’s always been scared, but he’s determined not to be anymore.

You get a sense of the heartbreak and danger that went along with being a gay man in the 1960s-1980s (and beyond), and watch Albert grow stronger as he lets people into his life and grows even more determined to find George and have the love they should have had all along.

There’s also a sweet story of a 19-year-old single mom and aspiring beautician, Nicole, who befriends Albert and helps him. He helps her nurture her relationship with Jamie, a more affluent college student with disapproving parents. This was just a truly lovely story all the way around.

Rating: 5
Steam: None
Themes and Tropes: LGBTQ+, Second Chance, Character Growth, Friendship
Pair With: English Wine

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