Title: The Secret Life Of Albert Entwistle
Author: Matt Cain
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
First published: May 27th 2021
Publisher: RB Media
Finished reading: May 18th 2022
Pages: 400

Duration audiobook 10 hours 49 minutes
Narrated by Simon Vance

“Because he could see now that just by being open about their feelings, every single person had the chance to change the world.”

*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Netgalley and RB Media in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***


Mention a comparison to the works of Fredrik Backman and TJ Klune and I’m instantly intrigued; add a promise of an older main character and a charming story about second chance love and there was simply no way on earth that I was going to resist this story. I’ve been wanting to read The Secret Life Of Albert Entwistle ever since I first heard about it last year… In a way I’m glad I waited until the audiobook though, because I ended up having a fantastic experience listening to Albert’s story.

I know that I’m basically still an audiobook newbie, but The Secret Life Of Albert Entwistle has once again proven to me that I can really enjoy an audiobook when the timing is right. This book has two different POVs, but is told by one narrator: Simon Vance. While having a female narrator for Nicole’s POV would have added a little something extra, I do like how the narrator gave the characters their own voices and it was easy to tell the two apart. His voice was great to listen to and easy to understand despite the accent. I especially liked how he brought Albert to life!

As for the story itself: it definitely has that Fredrik Backman feel with a (seemingly) grumpy older main character, the right dose of humor and what is basically mostly a feel-good story with lots of character growth. Albert Entwistle is of course the star of the show, and he is probably the main reason this story works so well. His character shows a lot of growth during the story; after his private and quiet life is turned upside down by the letter that announces his forced retirement when he turns 65, he decides to search for his long-lost love George and finally show the world who he is. The young Nicole and her daughter make for a great balance POV and I loved seeing the unlikely friendship with Albert blossom.

Besides the two present POVs, there are also flashbacks to 1969-1970 where we learn more about how Albert and George first met and what their relationship was like. It also helps shine a light on just how difficult it was for gay men in the seventies; being hunted down and thrown in jail for simply being themselves. Both their story and what Albert discovers about George’s life after they were separated gives us an idea just how much of a struggle it was for gay men and how some people (like Albert) felt they had no other option but to hide this part of themselves.

As a whole, The Secret Life Of Albert Entwistle is a well balanced story that mixes more serious topics with moments of hope and joy, and the dose of humor is just right. The writing is wonderful and the character development and growth simply spot on: Albert Entwistle is without a doubt the reason this story worked so well for me. The audiobook itself is excellent too, and it was a true pleasure to be able to listen to Albert’s story.

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