Audiobook, Contemporary Fiction

The Secret Life of Albert Entwistle by Matt Cain @MattCainWriter @SimVan @recordedbooks @librofm

the setup…
Albert Entwistle leads a very simple life. He’s a postman serving the Lancashire district, living alone with his beloved cat Gracie. He’s friendly to the people on his route but not so much as to engage with anyone, even his workmates. A few months before his 65th birthday, he receives a letter from Human Resources notifying him of his upcoming mandatory retirement. With that notice, everything for Albert begins to unravel, making him question his chosen isolated life because without work, he struggles for meaning. He decides that he’s going to make some changes, start to live and reach out to the people around him. And, his most important decision emerges from that plan…to seek out the once love of his life from 40 years ago, a boy named George Atkinson. That also means he will need to also emerge from the closet he’s hid in all his life.

the heart of the story…
Boy, did this turn out to be the story I didn’t know I needed to read! Albert tells his story in the present but revisits his past for context. I had no idea that it was illegal to be a homosexual in the UK until 1967 in England and Wales, 1980 in Scotland. It made Albert’s decision to stay closeted much more understandable, especially as his fear was bred from his own parents. What made the story so lovely were the responses of those around him when he “came out,” not only as a gay man but as someone who was compassionate, thoughtful and kind. His journey was enlightening as I learned about others’ personal experiences, particularly those brave souls who laid the groundwork for changing not only the law but community attitudes.

the narration…
I enjoyed the narrator, Simon Vance, as he sounded like who I thought Albert to be, including his voice. He was incredibly believable.(Note: Layton Williams narrates the international version.)

the bottom line…
I found this to be a thoughtful story on so many levels. Albert was a great character you couldn’t help but adore and root for in his journey to create a life for himself and find his beloved George. His journey became my own enlightenment and education, one I didn’t know I was lacking. The people he encountered along the way were just important to that education as Albert. It’s a beautiful story, even when it was predictable at times, which didn’t seem to matter in the long run.

Book Info

  • Release Date: May 31, 2022
  • Narrator: Simon Vance
  • Audio Length: 10 hours, 49 minutes
  • Publisher: Recorded Books


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(Thanks to and Recorded Books for my complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.)

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