By Matt Cain
Matt Cain is the author of the successful and well received book -The Secret Life of Albert Entwistle. Now he brings his second standalone book – Becoming Ted and thanks to Headline Books for allowing me to review, which you can find below the blurb.
A charming, joyful and surprising story about love, friendship and learning to be true to yourself, Becoming Ted will steal your heart.
Ted Ainsworth has always worked at his family’s ice-cream business in the quiet Lancashire town of St Luke’s-on-Sea.
But the truth is, he’s never wanted to work for the family firm – he doesn’t even like ice-cream, though he’s never told his parents that. When Ted’s husband suddenly leaves him, the bottom falls out of his world.
But what if this could be an opportunity to put what he wants first? This could be the chance to finally follow his secret dream: something Ted has never told anyone …
Matt Cain whisks readers off to the seaside where there’s hope, dreams and putting down new roots and creating a different life.
Ted Ainsworth has a dream and it is captivating to see if he reaches and achieves his goal. One he has been keeping secret. He’s into the Manchester music scene and he wants to pursue his dream of being on-stage and be part of this and the drag scene. He’s a fairly unassuming guy in his 40’s who works in the family business with life meandering along, not that he wants to be in the family firm nor has a passion for ice cream, but was moving along not too badly, until his heart is broken. You can really feel the weight of his pain, with the memories attached and all he really has is Lily, his dog and not his man as planned. This is testament of Cain’s writing and realism of how you break up with someone, but there’s still things to do, thoughts in the form of memories still persist, as they do when he was with Giles.
There is the sense of the seaside and how it was in its hey-day and how it is now.
There is also the story of Oskar who settled in St. Luke’s-on-Sea after relocating from Poland. He is full of hope of learning a new culture and of new things he had never heard of before.
There is also Trevor and his wife, Hillary dealing with a diagnosis to do with her health and Stanley wanting to make the most of what is left of his life, now he is 90. Suddenly there’s a few characters, including the supporting ones who suddenly, energy goes into rooting for from the moment they’re met to when more is revealed.
Readers can see who Ted Ainsworth and how he transforms and becomes Ted in what he becomes in what is an uplifting, charming book, even through all the emotion.
This is an author I’d certainly read again, having read two and now look forward to seeing what he writes in a third.