Book Review Time: The Secret Life Of Albert Entwistle

I’m sure it is obvious to most that I write under a pseudonym. Ginny Malbec sounds about as authentic as a 3 dollar bill. Yet, in spite of the name, the message I deliver is 100% the real deal. It took me quite a bit of time to find my voice. My authentic self. I tried on different hats for various reasons. Nothing ever fit as it should. So, I spent most of my adolescence and young adulthood wildly uncomfortable. It probably wasn’t until I was solidly in my forties that my truest self took the reins. There are few experiences in life more freeing. In The Secret Life Of Albert Entwistle, the eponymous main character undergoes a similar realization.

Though it was presented in a plastic vessel posing as a wineglass, the Malbec was just as lovely as it always is.

Albert is just shy of his 65th birthday when he receives word from his employer that forced retirement is imminent. Working as a mail carrier makes up a significant part of Albert’s cloistered life. That and taking care of his cat, Gracie. Otherwise, his existence is rather small and subdued. Dancing to show tunes in his living room, with the curtains drawn lest he be seen, is an extremely subversive act in Albert’s estimation. But with retirement looming, a small flicker of light is ignited. And oh, how it will grow! Over time, and taking the concept of “baby-steps” to a whole new level, Albert will begin to open himself up to the world, and the people in it. In the process he will find acceptance, community, and the possibility of love rekindled.

The Secret Life Of Albert Entwistle by Matt Cain, is a beautiful story. Albert is a man who has spent most of his life hidden away in plain sight. Yet his decision to live out the third act of his life, with the artifice removed, distinguishes him as a valuable and worthy literary hero. At the very heart of Albert’s truth is his suppressed sexuality and the childhood trauma he faced because of it. As an older man, Albert recognizes a society that is far more accepting. Love is love. But obstacles remain in his path, as well as the guilt of hurting someone he cherished profoundly.

If you decide to venture on this literary journey of self-discovery, forgiveness, and love, know that you will feel Albert’s pain. It is deep and inescapable. But rest assured that you will also feel the immense joy of a life fully unveiled and the beauty drawn in by its light.

Better late than never, right?



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