web site hit counter The Secret Life of Albert Entwistle: 'A total triumph', 'Romantic and heartbreaking and uplifting all at once', 'Highly recommended' - Ebooks PDF Online
Hot Best Seller

The Secret Life of Albert Entwistle: 'A total triumph', 'Romantic and heartbreaking and uplifting all at once', 'Highly recommended'

Availability: Ready to download

It's never too late to start your life's big adventure . . . Albert Entwistle was a postman. It was one of the few things everyone knew about him. And it was one of the few things he was comfortable with people knowing. 64-year-old Albert Entwistle has been a postie in a quiet town in Northern England for all his life, living alone since the death of his mam 18 years ago. He It's never too late to start your life's big adventure . . . Albert Entwistle was a postman. It was one of the few things everyone knew about him. And it was one of the few things he was comfortable with people knowing. 64-year-old Albert Entwistle has been a postie in a quiet town in Northern England for all his life, living alone since the death of his mam 18 years ago. He keeps himself to himself. He always has. But he's just learned he'll be forced to retire at his next birthday. With no friends and nothing to look forward to, the lonely future he faces terrifies him. He realises it's finally time to be honest about who he is. He must learn to ask for what he wants. And he must find the courage to look for George, the man that, many years ago, he lost - but has never forgotten . . . Join Albert as he sets out to find the long-lost love of his life, and has an unforgettable and completely life-affirming adventure on the way . . . This is a love story the like of which you have never read before!


Compare

It's never too late to start your life's big adventure . . . Albert Entwistle was a postman. It was one of the few things everyone knew about him. And it was one of the few things he was comfortable with people knowing. 64-year-old Albert Entwistle has been a postie in a quiet town in Northern England for all his life, living alone since the death of his mam 18 years ago. He It's never too late to start your life's big adventure . . . Albert Entwistle was a postman. It was one of the few things everyone knew about him. And it was one of the few things he was comfortable with people knowing. 64-year-old Albert Entwistle has been a postie in a quiet town in Northern England for all his life, living alone since the death of his mam 18 years ago. He keeps himself to himself. He always has. But he's just learned he'll be forced to retire at his next birthday. With no friends and nothing to look forward to, the lonely future he faces terrifies him. He realises it's finally time to be honest about who he is. He must learn to ask for what he wants. And he must find the courage to look for George, the man that, many years ago, he lost - but has never forgotten . . . Join Albert as he sets out to find the long-lost love of his life, and has an unforgettable and completely life-affirming adventure on the way . . . This is a love story the like of which you have never read before!

30 review for The Secret Life of Albert Entwistle: 'A total triumph', 'Romantic and heartbreaking and uplifting all at once', 'Highly recommended'

  1. 4 out of 5

    K.J. Charles

    A super-feelgood (eventually) story of Albert, a 64yo postman in a Northern town, whose miserably closeted and lonely life has dwindled to nothing, and how he comes out of his shell, makes friends, enhances other people's lives along with his own, and seeks his long lost love. It starts bleak and stays that way for a while, with the flashbacks to Albert's youth, his vile homophobic father, his miserable mother, and the awful oppressive society and laws that had such a horrendous effect on so man A super-feelgood (eventually) story of Albert, a 64yo postman in a Northern town, whose miserably closeted and lonely life has dwindled to nothing, and how he comes out of his shell, makes friends, enhances other people's lives along with his own, and seeks his long lost love. It starts bleak and stays that way for a while, with the flashbacks to Albert's youth, his vile homophobic father, his miserable mother, and the awful oppressive society and laws that had such a horrendous effect on so many lives. These are done very well, which is to say they're pretty gutting to read. But this is more than counterbalanced by the blossoming of his life once he sets himself out to remake it. That's very much rainbows and sparkles turned up to 11, but he bloody well deserves rainbows and sparkles and you'd be a curmudgeon not to go along for the ride. Terrific sense of place and time, too. And how nice to have a properly older protag getting romance.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Whispering Stories

    Book Reviewed on www.whisperingstories.com The Secret Life of Albert Entwistle is an amazing journey of lost love. Our title character sixty-four-year-old Postman Albert Entwistle and his friend George Atkinson fell in love as young boys in a time when gay men were not generally accepted in society, some fifty-plus years ago. I loved the honest reflection of how life was back in the 1970s and the emotions looking back on those times really hit me hard. My favourite character has got to be Albert, h Book Reviewed on www.whisperingstories.com The Secret Life of Albert Entwistle is an amazing journey of lost love. Our title character sixty-four-year-old Postman Albert Entwistle and his friend George Atkinson fell in love as young boys in a time when gay men were not generally accepted in society, some fifty-plus years ago. I loved the honest reflection of how life was back in the 1970s and the emotions looking back on those times really hit me hard. My favourite character has got to be Albert, he had a determination that shone and after years of hiding and being alone was ready to fully embrace life. I also loved the young George. I could vividly imagine his flamboyant ways, singing, and dancing when the two met at the bunker. The story kept me enthralled and I just loved the details and description of Albert’s life, the way he became more open about himself, the sadness of his past but the happiness he found in his new friends Nicole and Edith, along with his work colleagues. This was a definite page-turner as I couldn’t get enough of Albert. I also found it infuriating and so sad reading how narrow-minded some people were in the past and glad that things have improved from the way they were, although we still have a long way to go in the fight for full acceptance from everyone. The Secret Life of Albert Entwistle is a love story and a brilliantly written one too, well done Matt Cain. It felt uplifting and heart-warming. It was beautiful to watch Albert as he stopped hiding his sexuality from people and embraced it. I will certainly be recommending this book to all my family and friends.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    For my full review, visit me at https://mrsbrownsbooks.wordpress.com/... Matt Cain has written a story that celebrates differences and the path of true happiness. Whilst the narrative is tinged with sadness, I could not help but become absorbed in Albert’s story, finishing with a feeling of happiness and contentment. For my full review, visit me at https://mrsbrownsbooks.wordpress.com/... Matt Cain has written a story that celebrates differences and the path of true happiness. Whilst the narrative is tinged with sadness, I could not help but become absorbed in Albert’s story, finishing with a feeling of happiness and contentment.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Audrey Haylins

    Novels featuring older protagonists have become among some of my very favorites: Harold Fry, Ove, Missy, to name just a few. With much of their lives behind them, they have wonderful stories to tell and a richness to their character that draws empathy and compassion. I am now adding Albert Entwistle to this list. Approaching the age of 65 and facing mandatory retirement from his job as a postie, Albert has reached a crossroads in his life. For years he has lived a lie, denying even to himself who Novels featuring older protagonists have become among some of my very favorites: Harold Fry, Ove, Missy, to name just a few. With much of their lives behind them, they have wonderful stories to tell and a richness to their character that draws empathy and compassion. I am now adding Albert Entwistle to this list. Approaching the age of 65 and facing mandatory retirement from his job as a postie, Albert has reached a crossroads in his life. For years he has lived a lie, denying even to himself who he truly is. But times have changed. Being gay is no longer a crime. And so he sets out to track down George, the love of his life. Albert’s story is beautifully told, in his own voice and in dual timelines, as he goes about his quest and reminisces about the past. His journey is poignant and at times desperately sad. But it is also uplifting and joyous. Albert’s transformation is a joy to behold, as he opens up to who he is and makes discoveries and friendships that change and enrich his life. He’s an immensely likable character; one you take into your heart, care for and root for, as he at first tentatively then wholeheartedly embraces his reincarnation. Matt Cain handles the issues surrounding homosexuality with sensitivity and a real depth of understanding. There is no triteness here. Just honesty and compassion. I truly loved this book and would recommend it to all fans of uplit.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Karen Mace

    When you want to jump right into the pages of a book and give the main character a great big hug, then you know the author has done something special to make you care so much! And that's how I feel about Albert Entwhistle after reading his story! It's just delightful from start to finish as you watch over this man as he looks back over his life as he approaches a new direction for his life with his impending retirement. He's a man who keeps himself to himself - reading his past, you begin to unde When you want to jump right into the pages of a book and give the main character a great big hug, then you know the author has done something special to make you care so much! And that's how I feel about Albert Entwhistle after reading his story! It's just delightful from start to finish as you watch over this man as he looks back over his life as he approaches a new direction for his life with his impending retirement. He's a man who keeps himself to himself - reading his past, you begin to understand more of why he is this way and it makes you love him more! He sticks to his routine, despises small talk and dotes on his cat Gracie. He's an observer of life and doesn't like sharing personal stuff! And he's spent many years caring for his mother so that left very little time for him and his own life. But with retirement approaching, his safe 'bubble' is threatened and he finds himself ready to confront his past and the emotions from way back when begin to stir again. I loved looking back over his life - his time as a child and the moment at school when George entered his life. They shared a very special bond and it was so endearing to spend time in their company. As Albert starts to come out of his shell, we are introduced to Nicole who is a single mum and finding life tough, but trying to find the positives and better herself. Things are looking up on the love front for her, but there always seems to be obstacles in her way. Albert reaches out to her to help him using technology to start his search and they start to build a wonderful friendship. The more Albert opens up to others, the more he begins to find his voice and stops feeling ashamed of who he is. His past, and people in it, had made him afraid to be himself so this revelation to him about people accepting him for who he is was wonderful to witness. The journey the characters go on is totally endearing and uplifting. I adored spending time in all their company and think this is one of those books that really inspires and warms the cockles of even the coldest of hearts! Wonderful!! back begin to stir in him and he's left with many 'what if' questions that need answering. W

  6. 4 out of 5

    Pheadra

    This is a feel good story reminiscent of Chocolat and Il Postino. It is the tale of Albert Entwistle, a gay postman who has hidden his sexuality since his teens because of the prejudices towards homosexuals, starting with his own parents. He has done such a good job of hiding his authentic self that when he comes out people are astounded but not as shocked as he, to discover that the vast majority of people are happy for him and not nearly as critical as he thought they'd be.Albert sets out to f This is a feel good story reminiscent of Chocolat and Il Postino. It is the tale of Albert Entwistle, a gay postman who has hidden his sexuality since his teens because of the prejudices towards homosexuals, starting with his own parents. He has done such a good job of hiding his authentic self that when he comes out people are astounded but not as shocked as he, to discover that the vast majority of people are happy for him and not nearly as critical as he thought they'd be.Albert sets out to find his long lost love George from the time they were teenagers, assisted by a single mum, Nicole, with struggles of her own. An easy read that touches on many of society's prejudices this story gives courage to those who regret not doing the right thing and leaves one with an overall message of it's never too late. 4 and a half stars

  7. 4 out of 5

    Fay Flude

    Marvellous, magical and musical, learn to dance, be yourself and live again with the loveable postman Albert Entwistle and the friends he meets along the way as he comes to terms with retiring from the Royal Mail. No second class novel here, this is a first class story brought to you by Matt Cain's Special Delivery, gift-wrapped in sensitivity, humour, warmth and joy. Spanning decades, right back to the Ancient Times of the 1970s, Albert discovers that love can be wrapped in many different ways. T Marvellous, magical and musical, learn to dance, be yourself and live again with the loveable postman Albert Entwistle and the friends he meets along the way as he comes to terms with retiring from the Royal Mail. No second class novel here, this is a first class story brought to you by Matt Cain's Special Delivery, gift-wrapped in sensitivity, humour, warmth and joy. Spanning decades, right back to the Ancient Times of the 1970s, Albert discovers that love can be wrapped in many different ways. The problem is that in these uneducated times, growing up in Lancashire with individual, political and legal prejudices, Albert feels forced to discard his original packaging and reinvent himself as a lonely, unsociable, wary man, remembering the pain his own parents put him through and now with the sole company of just his cat. But when George receives the letter declaring he will have to retire soon, can he use this time of change to learn from the past and move forward into a brighter, friendlier future? Join Albert and a gorgeous cast of characters on his incredible journey of self discovery as he redefines what is important in life and teaches us that it is never too late to love. Marjorie is his boss at the sorting office, he has colleagues he only wants to avoid, there is lonely Edith on his postal round and single mum Nicole with young daughter Reenie, all of whom slowly learn a lot more about 64 year old Albert as his courage levels take an upward surge and his quest for that someone special takes him back through time, out of his familiar routines and with a heart open wide slowly becomes ready for whatever life has to offer. Whilst the book is definitely a feel good, joyous and uplifting read with romance flavouring much of the dialogue and unfolding dramas, there is a background note of grim reality, of life in its harsh unbending form, with sadness and loss, regret and shame which all add an emotional depth and stop the rainbow coloured, glittery unicorn from dancing and prancing too wildly. Wholeheartedly recommended, this is a book you cannot read without smiling. Thanks hoes to the talented Matt Cain, the publisher and people behind the Pigeonhile platform for bringing Albert Entwistle to my groaning bookshelves. All aboard for a fantastic ride which will make your stomach drop and your heart jump into your mouth, but ultimately will have you squealing for more!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Bridget

    Matt Cain has written a cracking, amusing and touching tale in The Secret Life of Albert Entwistle. Albert Entwistle is coming up to his retirement as a postman and is wondering what his future holds. Very much a loner who likes to keep to himself he is anxious about how he will occupy his time. He also has a secret but realises that now could be the time for him to be honest about who he really is... The author's superb character creation and development is second to none. Albert, a cat lover of Matt Cain has written a cracking, amusing and touching tale in The Secret Life of Albert Entwistle. Albert Entwistle is coming up to his retirement as a postman and is wondering what his future holds. Very much a loner who likes to keep to himself he is anxious about how he will occupy his time. He also has a secret but realises that now could be the time for him to be honest about who he really is... The author's superb character creation and development is second to none. Albert, a cat lover of his beloved pet, Gracie has recently lost his mother who he looked after and has spent the last eighteen years living alone. But Albert is determined to make some friends and confront his past and as his emotions start to resurface, there is no stopping him. Along the way, the reader meets several people including Nicole and her daughter, Reenie, George, Marjorie and Edith to name only a few. Nicole is a single mother, trying her best to improve her own situation and Edith is a lady on his postal delivery round. This was an impactful story that was funny, sad and exceptionally moving. All of the author's characters gave the book great dimension, and many of them were people I started to wish I knew personally. In a story dating back to the 1970s and spanning decades, I loved accompanying Albert on his journey of self-discovery. An uplifting, delightful, though occasionally harsh and bitter read topped with romance. The Secret Life of Albert Entwistle is beautifully written and a 2021 favourite. I read The Secret Life of Albert Entwistle in staves with other Pigeonholers as part of a group. A special thank you to Headline, Matt Cain, NetGalley and The Pigeonhole for a complimentary copy of this novel at my request. This review is my unbiased opinion.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    If ever there was a genre defining example of uplit, this is it. Albert is such an engaging and loveable character, you can’t help being sucked into his painful yet heartwarming story. As a postie Albert knows his community well. He knows everyone’s names, what they look like, where they live. But it’s a community he’s never been able to be part of. Separated by shyness and a hidden identity he must keep from everyone, including himself, he shuns human contact and has only his cat for company. A If ever there was a genre defining example of uplit, this is it. Albert is such an engaging and loveable character, you can’t help being sucked into his painful yet heartwarming story. As a postie Albert knows his community well. He knows everyone’s names, what they look like, where they live. But it’s a community he’s never been able to be part of. Separated by shyness and a hidden identity he must keep from everyone, including himself, he shuns human contact and has only his cat for company. As he approaches 65, a letter regarding his compulsory retirement arrives and throws his world upside. He’s confronted with just how lonely he really is and begins to look back on his life and realises just what he’s been missing all these years. This sparks a quest to find George, the only love of his life, who he hasn’t seen for 50 years. The dual timeline is really well constructed. We can see the tragedy of Albert’s past coming but the way Cain holds off on telling us the details really packs a punch once it’s finally revealed and we fully understand why Albert has been alone for so long. Albert’s transformation is an emotional ride but the changes in his outlook are throughly believable, as he opens up gradually to those around him and is accepted for who he really is. As he follows the clues to find George and takes his first tentative steps into the gay community, we see him becoming slowly brighter and happier and more confident in his own skin. It’s a joy to read as the cast of colourful characters take Albert into their hearts. The dual timeline is really well constructed. I loved the sections that focused on Albert and George’s teenage romance. We can see the tragedy of their past heading towards us like a freight train but the way Cain holds off on telling us the details really packs a punch once it’s finally revealed and we fully understand why Albert has been alone for so long. This is a story that deals with prejudice in all its colours. Not just homophobia but racism, sexism and classism too. It is sensitively written though and the thing I really like is that even the characters we expect to dislike are given redeeming features. We’re made to understand the fears behind their actions. ( With the exception of one, who is a sharp representation of the ideologies of a more intolerant time.) Some of the stories that hit me hardest are those of a life wasted. This is especially poignant when it is caused by the intolerance of others. I don’t mind admitting I shed a few tears over this one, but ultimately it is an incredibly uplifting story of learning to accept and love oneself. Thank you to Pigeonhole, the publisher and the author for the opportunity to read this in return for an honest review.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Alison Alice-May

    This book was pure joy for me. I loved the main character, Albert, and wanted everything to go well for him. I also wanted to hug him, so much. I worked for the Post Office for twelve years and I recognised the camaraderie that existed in and between staff. Albert is a very conscientious postman who keeps himself to himself. He doesn’t spend time chatting with his fellow postal workers, he just does his job to the best of his ability and he goes home. He has a cat he adores, Gracie, and he has re This book was pure joy for me. I loved the main character, Albert, and wanted everything to go well for him. I also wanted to hug him, so much. I worked for the Post Office for twelve years and I recognised the camaraderie that existed in and between staff. Albert is a very conscientious postman who keeps himself to himself. He doesn’t spend time chatting with his fellow postal workers, he just does his job to the best of his ability and he goes home. He has a cat he adores, Gracie, and he has recently lost his mother, who he spent all his spare time looking after. He loves routine and he sticks to what and who he knows. Through reading the book we find out why Albert has become like this, and his story is sad and poignant. Albert is approaching retirement, and he doesn’t know how he will fill his time when he no longer has the post office. Albert becomes determined to confront his past and as his emotions get switched back on, there is no stopping him. As Albert comes out of his shell, we meet Nicole who is a single mother, trying her best to improve her own situation. The parallels between their lives is astonishing. Albert reaches out to Nicole to help him delve into social media, to try to find someone he lost touch with almost fifty years previously. The more Albert finds out about himself, the more confidence he gains to start to live his own life authentically. Accompanying Albert on his journey is a real treat, and totally uplifting. I read most of the book with a smile on my face. I loved all the characters, and will miss them now the book is over. I hope Matt decides to make this into the first of a series as I can’t bear not to meet up with the characters in the future. A fabulous book.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Janet

    How do. Grab yourself a Crunchie bar and join Albert on his emotional, funny, life changing journey to find the long lost love of his life. Albert is a postman. He is a loner, keeps himself to himself and is terrified of actually having to talk to anyone. He has his well practised excuses to get away, should any of his customers try to start a conversation. He has lived alone since his mother, who he cared for, died almost 20 years ago. He is due to retire in a few months on his 65th birthday. He How do. Grab yourself a Crunchie bar and join Albert on his emotional, funny, life changing journey to find the long lost love of his life. Albert is a postman. He is a loner, keeps himself to himself and is terrified of actually having to talk to anyone. He has his well practised excuses to get away, should any of his customers try to start a conversation. He has lived alone since his mother, who he cared for, died almost 20 years ago. He is due to retire in a few months on his 65th birthday. He has regrets about his life but comes to a monumental decision. He is going to do whatever it takes to find the love of his life. The thing is that it is a man and no-one knows he is gay. As he begins his search he becomes friends with Nicole, a young single mum, who has her own challenges. He needs help with all this social media stuff! As he begins to come out of his shell and reveal the real Albert he gains more friends and more support than he could ever have imagined. Will he find the love and happiness he deserves and live happily ever after? You will just have to read it and find out. Have tissues ready! I just loved this book. I fell in love with Albert immediately. What a gentleman. The other characters are very well written and relatable, most are going through some personal trauma or difficulty in their lives just as we all are. I highly recommend this book. It gave me a warm fuzzy feeling similar to The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry. I know it is going to stay with me for a very long time and will be one of my top reads of 2021. Thank you so much to Headline Books for an advance copy of this gorgeous book.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Nicola Mackenzie-Smaller

    What a lovely book. Albert is a postman in a small Northern town. He has lived alone for a long time after the death of his mother, and when he gets a letter advising him that he has to retire he decides that his life needs to change. Albert has been closed off to his internal feelings for too long, shamed by his parents and the prevailing social mores about his sexuality, he’s locked everything down. This book is therefore the glorious story of Albert coming out and finding his long lost true l What a lovely book. Albert is a postman in a small Northern town. He has lived alone for a long time after the death of his mother, and when he gets a letter advising him that he has to retire he decides that his life needs to change. Albert has been closed off to his internal feelings for too long, shamed by his parents and the prevailing social mores about his sexuality, he’s locked everything down. This book is therefore the glorious story of Albert coming out and finding his long lost true love, but it’s also the story of what happens when you build and make connections with the people you know and work with. I adored this. It’s joyous and uplifting and also pretty sad in places. Highly recommended. Read with The Pigeonhole.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Catherine Rickard

    I loved reading this book with Pigeonhole so much. It is a beautifully written, heart wrenching and heart warming story. Full of amazing characters that will stay with me for a long time to come! It is not often that a book will touch me quite like this one has, there were actual tears at times. A wonderful uplifting tale, perfect during these difficult times!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Gail Danks

    Absolutely fantastic book, a must read for sure. I’ve ordered Matts other book ‘the Madonna of Bolton ‘ can’t wait to read that too.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Alice Duggan

    I really loved reading this story. It made me laugh, it made me cry, but mostly it made me fall in love - with Albert, with his community, and all over again with the gay community. This was a gorgeous story and it reminded me that it is never too late to come out.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Dee

    ⭐️ 5 ⭐️ Bloomin’ ‘eck, what an emotional rollercoaster ride that was! Matt Cain has crafted such a beautiful, poignant, uplifting and completely captivating read; a story of self-discovery, optimism, friendship and above all, love. Albert Entwistle is a wonderful, endearing character, a true gentleman. A character so real, you just want to steal him from the book and envelop him in the biggest hug - obviously taking care not to crush his Crunchie in the process! The story is heart-warming, and at t ⭐️ 5 ⭐️ Bloomin’ ‘eck, what an emotional rollercoaster ride that was! Matt Cain has crafted such a beautiful, poignant, uplifting and completely captivating read; a story of self-discovery, optimism, friendship and above all, love. Albert Entwistle is a wonderful, endearing character, a true gentleman. A character so real, you just want to steal him from the book and envelop him in the biggest hug - obviously taking care not to crush his Crunchie in the process! The story is heart-warming, and at times heart-breaking. My eyes leaked tears of sadness but mostly of sheer joy. With laugh out loud moments and gentle humour throughout; Albert and his fabulously diverse supporting cast kept me entertained from start to finish. I slowly savoured the final few chapters, because I genuinely didn’t want the journey to end. I absolutely adored The Secret Life of Albert Entwistle, and can say (without a doubt), that it’s one of my favourite reads of 2021. Albert has captured a piece of my heart; his special, life-affirming story will stay with me for a very long time. Can we have a TV adaptation please?! I highly, HIGHLY recommend! Many thanks to the publisher for the proof copy, in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Amy McGregor

    2.5 stars. I can see why some people really enjoy this but it's not for me - very formulaic, lots of stereotypes, and the way the characters spoke felt like a Disney movie at times. It really did put a smile on my face at points but I don't feel overall it was my cup of tea. 2.5 stars. I can see why some people really enjoy this but it's not for me - very formulaic, lots of stereotypes, and the way the characters spoke felt like a Disney movie at times. It really did put a smile on my face at points but I don't feel overall it was my cup of tea.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Leah

    This was a really sweet read, I love Matt Cain's books, they're always wonderful reads and he really has his finger on the pulse of what's going on. His first two novels were proper summer reads whereas for his latest forays, they've been a bit more serious, a bit more 'book club'ish and I actually participated in the crowd-funding for his novel The Madonna of Bolton. So I was enormously proud when I saw Headline had scooped up Albert Entwistle, and bought my copy the day of release. I'll be hone This was a really sweet read, I love Matt Cain's books, they're always wonderful reads and he really has his finger on the pulse of what's going on. His first two novels were proper summer reads whereas for his latest forays, they've been a bit more serious, a bit more 'book club'ish and I actually participated in the crowd-funding for his novel The Madonna of Bolton. So I was enormously proud when I saw Headline had scooped up Albert Entwistle, and bought my copy the day of release. I'll be honest, Albert Entwistle wasn't everything I'd expected; it was a bit slower, a bit more sedate and, if I'm being brutally honest, a bit depressing. Which, actually, was the point of the novel. Albert Entwistle had gotten to the grand-old age of 64, with his only company after his Mam died being his cat, Gracie. And he's just been told that on his next birthday, he has to retire due to Royal Mail's rules. He's devastated, obviously. Being a postman is his life and he's never had a partner or anyone close to him, but the threat of retirement jigs Albert into life and he's determined to find George, his long lost love from his teens. This novel genuinely made me sad. The whole idea that being gay in the 70s was akin to committing a crime, that people had to hide who they were, just makes me sad. And what makes it even worse is that 20 years later although things have progressed massively, there is still that corner of the population who frown upon being gay, who spout nonsense and hatred, clearly because they have issues with themselves and for no other reason. I just felt so sad that Albert was almost allergic to the idea of himself being gay, that it was pounded into him that it was wrong and despicable and disgusting and I genuinely didn't know that it was THAT bad way back when. I thought it was bad enough now the way people go on, but clearly I had no idea. This novel is also hopeful though, because Albert decides at the age of 64 to just say fuck it, and go and find his happiness. Even if he wasn't to find George, I liked that Albert was willing to put himself out there in the name of love. That was genuinely lovely. His friendship with Nicole was also amazing, I adore relationships that have extreme age gaps - this one was 40+ years and Nicole and Albert were like chalk and cheese - Nicole, a single mum to Reenie, black, 19 compared to Albert, single all his life, gay, and 64. But that's what makes life beautiful because friendships like that can flourish given the opportunity and I loved how Nicole egged Albert on to keep looking for George and to not give up and all the rest. Honestly, Albert's journey was lovely. Very emotional, very touching and it definitely goes to show that you can't ever - ever - give up on love, because if it's meant to be, it's meant to be.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Bookclubforme

    Oh I absolutely loved this book! It's a such a special and heart-warming read that follows one man's journey as he sets out to find the long-lost love of his life whilst also finding the courage to admit who he really is after years of hiding from his past. Strongly character driven, Albert's story is told in dual timelines, switching between his past and present so that you really get to know him and all his little quirks, as well as understanding the reasoning behind the situation he now finds Oh I absolutely loved this book! It's a such a special and heart-warming read that follows one man's journey as he sets out to find the long-lost love of his life whilst also finding the courage to admit who he really is after years of hiding from his past. Strongly character driven, Albert's story is told in dual timelines, switching between his past and present so that you really get to know him and all his little quirks, as well as understanding the reasoning behind the situation he now finds himself in. Together this had me rooting for him all the more in his quest to find George. I developed a real soft spot for Albert who comes across quiet and awkward - you can't help but warm to him, watching his character transform was an absolute joy. At times the story is desperately sad, knowing that Albert denied who he was for so long because of homophobia and the prejudices faced by many gay men in the past. However, I loved seeing the response Albert's friends had when he decided to tell them his story and all the support and love they showed him - hooray for good friends! Cain's novel and the love story at it's heart is beautifully written and just so hopelessly romantic that you can't help but get drawn in. You'll finish it with a huge smile on your face, it's a real feel good read that shows it's never to late to find yourself. 💙📮

  20. 4 out of 5

    Veronika Jordan

    I defy anyone to read this book and not love Albert, even just a tiny bit. Poor Albert only ever had one love in his life – a love that was forbidden. He left school and became a postman, but he never forgot George and the guilt he feels for being a coward when push came to shove. I worked in a Post Office for eight years and in my time I met a lot of postmen (who worked for Royal Mail incidentally not the Post Office). There was our regular Paul, just waiting to retire, The lovely Gosia, who had I defy anyone to read this book and not love Albert, even just a tiny bit. Poor Albert only ever had one love in his life – a love that was forbidden. He left school and became a postman, but he never forgot George and the guilt he feels for being a coward when push came to shove. I worked in a Post Office for eight years and in my time I met a lot of postmen (who worked for Royal Mail incidentally not the Post Office). There was our regular Paul, just waiting to retire, The lovely Gosia, who had arrived from Poland ten years earlier, Stuart who literally never stopped talking, big Chris, Harvey who collected vintage cars, Tom who was really an artist – the list goes on. Every one with a story to tell, but I never met one with a story as sad as Albert’s. As far as I know. Oh Albert – what a waste of your life! Hiding from everyone, too afraid to chat in case they got too close and he was caught out. Bullied by his father who believed any relationship that wasn’t the norm was disgusting and a mother who, following his father’s death, became his ‘patient’. As her carer, he was criticised day in day out – nothing he did was good enough. Albert, a man living a lie. No confidence, crushed by his experiences or lack of them. Then one day he tells someone how he feels and who he really is and they don’t bat an eyelid. So he tells someone else (who had already guessed) and they don’t judge him either. Times have changed in all those years. From being illegal, to being legal only if you were over 21, to being accepted and finally to being the ‘norm’ – oh how your father would have hated that! Slowly, slowly Albert begins to investigate the gay community. And that leads him to start looking for George, but finds him on the greatest journey of his life. This is such a beautiful, heart-warming story and I loved it. Many thanks to The Pigeonhole, the author and my fellow Pigeons for making this such an enjoyable read.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Barbara

    Albert is 64 years of age and has been a postman all his working life. He has lived alone since the death of his mother some 18 years ago with just his cat Gracie for company. Socially awkward, Albert keeps himself to himself and doesn't interact with his workmates and doesn't appear to have any hobbies. When he is told that he will be expected to retire on his 65th birthday, Albert realises that it is time to take stock of his life and decides to try and find his lost love George who he hasn't Albert is 64 years of age and has been a postman all his working life. He has lived alone since the death of his mother some 18 years ago with just his cat Gracie for company. Socially awkward, Albert keeps himself to himself and doesn't interact with his workmates and doesn't appear to have any hobbies. When he is told that he will be expected to retire on his 65th birthday, Albert realises that it is time to take stock of his life and decides to try and find his lost love George who he hasn't seen for 50 years. Nicole is a young single mother with problems of her own in that her boyfriend's parents are not keen on their relationship. As Albert comes out of his shell he is pleasantly surprised to find that nobody is in the least bit concerned about his sexuality. As Albert is unused to social media, Nicole helps him in his quest to find George. I really enjoyed this book and the only thing that would make it better would be the promise of a sequel!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jodie

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. What a glorious read! Thank you to Pigeonhole for the opportunity to read an advance copy in exchange for an honest review. Albert is stuck in his ways and firmly in the closest. He actively avoids people and prefers a quiet life with his cat Gracie. On hearing he has to take compulsory retirement on his next Birthday, Albert is forced to think about what he will do with his days with no-one to spend time with. This is further compounded by the sudden loss of Gracie, his beloved companion. Lonely What a glorious read! Thank you to Pigeonhole for the opportunity to read an advance copy in exchange for an honest review. Albert is stuck in his ways and firmly in the closest. He actively avoids people and prefers a quiet life with his cat Gracie. On hearing he has to take compulsory retirement on his next Birthday, Albert is forced to think about what he will do with his days with no-one to spend time with. This is further compounded by the sudden loss of Gracie, his beloved companion. Lonely Albert starts to take steps to track down the absolute love of his life George who he hasn't seen in 50 years. A mission which forces Albert to interact with various people and takes him out of his comfort zone. As things progress you can see how views and opinions(thankfully) changed from the 1970s to present day. You really felt you were on this journey with Albert and it was wonderful to read how he develops from the shy recluse to a loved and liked character. A really uplifting read that I highly recommend.

  23. 4 out of 5

    SharleneH

    Have you ever considered falling in love with a 64yr old, gay postman, soon to retire and who has lived his life alone? No, nor me but you will after reading this book. . The Secret Life of Albert Entwhistle is a triumph and a joy. . Albert has always kept to himself and liked his life and job as a postman. When he receives notice he will need to retire his life alters and Albert realises he is not to old to find the lost love of his life. . A coming of age story, a love story like no other. A book t Have you ever considered falling in love with a 64yr old, gay postman, soon to retire and who has lived his life alone? No, nor me but you will after reading this book. . The Secret Life of Albert Entwhistle is a triumph and a joy. . Albert has always kept to himself and liked his life and job as a postman. When he receives notice he will need to retire his life alters and Albert realises he is not to old to find the lost love of his life. . A coming of age story, a love story like no other. A book that made me squeal with joy and kept a huge smile on my face. . Just because you may not see prejudice does not mean it doesn't exist. Keeping himself hidden from people and also himself, for fear of being judged, hindered Albert making true friendships until he stumbles on single mum Nicole. They develop a friendship that encourages Albert to blossom. . The beginning of this book did have me feeling sad for Albert but as you go on the journey with him the joy spreads. . I loved all the characters and I'm desperately hoping there may be a spin off with George (he was definitely my second favourite) . Bookstagram made me buy this book. Oh you wonderful people, how fabulous it was. A definite uplifting book and in my top reads of this year. . . . . . . .

  24. 4 out of 5

    Iona Sharma

    Charming, warm-hearted book about Albert, who is a 64yo postman realising that life has passed him by while he's been afraid of everything, and it's time to make friends, come out, and track down the long-lost boyfriend he had as a teenager. It's just as sweet as that makes it sound and I enjoyed it. Caveat lector, though, it is *horribly* written. Quite a lot of the time I was willing to let that slide because of the charm of the story but sometimes you can't help but be distracted by e.g. some Charming, warm-hearted book about Albert, who is a 64yo postman realising that life has passed him by while he's been afraid of everything, and it's time to make friends, come out, and track down the long-lost boyfriend he had as a teenager. It's just as sweet as that makes it sound and I enjoyed it. Caveat lector, though, it is *horribly* written. Quite a lot of the time I was willing to let that slide because of the charm of the story but sometimes you can't help but be distracted by e.g. someone's hair being described as "a shade of brunette" and characters who "quip" and "joke" and "reassure" their dialogue rather than saying it.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Ellie (bookmadbarlow)

    Oh Albert, he stole my heart, you know how I love a pensioner in a book and this was no exception. Albert has worked all his life as a postman, he keeps to himself, preferring his own company and that of his cat. The first part of the book was really very sad, following how Albert came to be like he was and jumping between present and his past, but gradually Albert starts to blossom and we see that he doesn't want to be on his own as he starts his quest to find a past love. I loved this one, at fir Oh Albert, he stole my heart, you know how I love a pensioner in a book and this was no exception. Albert has worked all his life as a postman, he keeps to himself, preferring his own company and that of his cat. The first part of the book was really very sad, following how Albert came to be like he was and jumping between present and his past, but gradually Albert starts to blossom and we see that he doesn't want to be on his own as he starts his quest to find a past love. I loved this one, at first I thought, can I cope with reading something that is going to be this sad, but it was the ultimate uplit and showed how Albert rediscovered himself. LGBT plays a big part in this book and it was so very well woven through, showing past experiences and how they contrasted with present experiences. I am expecting this to be a summer hit and will be highly recommending this to everyone.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Carly

    A beautiful modern day love story that will stay with me forever. I knew I was going to like Albert from the beginning. His insecurities - which stemmed from his past made me want to cuddle him. Throughout the story Albert was searching for acceptance & love and he did this by finding courage with a little help from the community. The community spirit was so strong within this story, it’s how everyone should be. This story really opened my eyes to how poorly gay people were treated in the past. I A beautiful modern day love story that will stay with me forever. I knew I was going to like Albert from the beginning. His insecurities - which stemmed from his past made me want to cuddle him. Throughout the story Albert was searching for acceptance & love and he did this by finding courage with a little help from the community. The community spirit was so strong within this story, it’s how everyone should be. This story really opened my eyes to how poorly gay people were treated in the past. It sickened me ! Love is love. This is a book that everyone should read. I can imagine it being a great bbc drama also.

  27. 5 out of 5

    ssloves books - Sheila

    This is a book that left me on the last page with tears streaming down my face and a big smile. 🔅 Oh Albert how I loved you. He’s a 64 year old postman who keeps his life simple, quiet and keep himself to himself. However, Albert carries a burden of guilt and has punished himself for years for a decision made long long ago. As he goes about his daily routine he has little interaction with those he works with and those he meets. It’s his choice. 🔅 When he is given notice that he will retire on hi This is a book that left me on the last page with tears streaming down my face and a big smile. 🔅 Oh Albert how I loved you. He’s a 64 year old postman who keeps his life simple, quiet and keep himself to himself. However, Albert carries a burden of guilt and has punished himself for years for a decision made long long ago. As he goes about his daily routine he has little interaction with those he works with and those he meets. It’s his choice. 🔅 When he is given notice that he will retire on his next birthday he makes the decision to change his life and begins to find the joy of forming relationships with others. I don’t want to say much more in case I spoil the story as your better going in not knowing a lot about what happens. 🔅 What a joyous life affirming read and there were so many superb characters in this book who enrich Albert’s life and equally he has a profound influence on them. 🔅 There are such important messages in this book, dealt with in a delicate way and I adored my time spent within the pages of Albert’s life. 🔅 A strong 4 star 🌟🌟🌟🌟 read. Absorbing, emotional, touching, delicate and Albert deserves the biggest cuddle there is. ❤️ Thanks to the #pigeonhole for an e-copy of this book. This book was published yesterday. Well worth a read !!!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Susan Bailey

    Bloomin’ ‘eck that was such a lovely, bittersweet and heartwarming story. I loved the ease of writing and the fact it was such a gentle read. As my teen niece would say ‘it got me right in the feels’! Thank you to The Pigeonhole for including this in our books to read together, and to Matt Cain for showing us that in all sorts of ways love really does conquer all no matter your sexuality, skin colour or mistakes made along the way. We also discover that no matter what your age it’s never too lat Bloomin’ ‘eck that was such a lovely, bittersweet and heartwarming story. I loved the ease of writing and the fact it was such a gentle read. As my teen niece would say ‘it got me right in the feels’! Thank you to The Pigeonhole for including this in our books to read together, and to Matt Cain for showing us that in all sorts of ways love really does conquer all no matter your sexuality, skin colour or mistakes made along the way. We also discover that no matter what your age it’s never too late to follow your true path and be the person you are meant to be. Some may consider this book a little too sweet however I found it made a delightful change - there’s no death, violence or horrendous tragedy, just a book to make you feel all’s right with the world at the end of it.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Mags Schofield

    Congratulations Matt Cain, for you have created something truly magical in this book. Albert, Nicole Reenie, George, Marjorie and even Jack. Larger than life, but true to themselves. We learn so much about these characters, and about ourselves as we read along. So many prejudices and so many fears have controlled Albert's life, until he finally decides to go on a journey of discovery and allow friends in. The story unfolds so beautifully and realistically because it's written from experience, an Congratulations Matt Cain, for you have created something truly magical in this book. Albert, Nicole Reenie, George, Marjorie and even Jack. Larger than life, but true to themselves. We learn so much about these characters, and about ourselves as we read along. So many prejudices and so many fears have controlled Albert's life, until he finally decides to go on a journey of discovery and allow friends in. The story unfolds so beautifully and realistically because it's written from experience, and from the heart. It made me laugh and cry with the perfect blend of sadness and humour and these people began to feel like friends. I will certainly be reading Matt's other books. Thanks to Matt and Pigeonhole for the privilege of reading this book.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Sue Jenkins

    I read this a stave at a time with Pigeonhole. Such a beautiful, heartwarming and poignant story. I loved it and I am so glad they all got their “happy endings”. Albert and his friends will stay with me for a long time!

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...