Last month, The Book Taster treated book club members to a little online social with Matt Cain. This was an absolute treat as, last year (almost exactly to the year), I read ‘The Secret Life of Albert Entwistle‘ and had absolutely adored it, and Matt Cain was a joy to listen to and share some of his recommendations.
After the event, I knew that ‘Becoming Ted’ had to be my next read, because I was pretty sure it would bring me pure joy. Ted is shocked by the announcement from his husband Giles that their marriage is over and he has met someone else. This forces Ted to face up to the truth about his marriage: maybe it had not been quite as perfect as he thought it was, and maybe it had been holding him back from his dreams all this time. As Ted has to restart his life, he starts to become a little more himself than he had been for quite some time; facing up to his past, looking at his present and working to create his bright future – as a drag queen.
‘Becoming Ted’ is such a heartwarming story, proving that it is never too late to follow your dreams, but also that you should never let anyone else stop you from being who you really are. It is a story of love, of all kinds. And a story of friendship and family, both things that may not always follow a smooth path but can also be the most valuable thing in our lives.
This book made me laugh out loud and it also caused me to shed a tear or two – there is one moment with Oskar and his search for his father that had me in floods of tears, on a train which is (of course) never awkward. The characters are all so beautifully created that you feel like you know each one of them personally (or that you would definitely like to hang out with them if you could), which is what adds so much emotion to this book, too.
I will be recommending this book regularly to people when they ask me what to read next, especially when they are looking for an uplifting read that can probably teach us a lesson or two along the way. And Matt Cain is certainly now added to my list of go-to authors (‘Madonna of Bolton’ is already on the tbr pile), especially when I am looking for a book that will ensure a real joy of reading for the time that I am in its company.