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!

My Review

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.

About the Author

Matt Cain was born in Bury and brought up in Bolton. He is an author, a leading commentator on LGBT+ issues, and a former journalist. He was Channel 4’s first Culture Editor, Editor-In-Chief of Attitude magazine, and has judged the Costa Prize, the Polari Prize and the South Bank Sky Arts Awards. He won Diversity In Media’s Journalist Of the Year award in 2017 and is an ambassador for Manchester Pride and the Albert Kennedy Trust, plus a patron of LGBT+ History Month.

Matt’s first two novels, Shot Through the Heart and Nothing But Trouble, were published by Pan Macmillan in 2014 and 2015, and his third, The Madonna Of Bolton, became Unbound’s fastest crowdfunded novel ever before its publication in 2018. His latest, The Secret Life of Albert Entwistle, will be published by Headline Review in May 2021.

He lives in London.

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