Shortlisted for the British Book Awards, Richard and Judy Best Read, 2007.
A Richard and Judy Book Club Selection.
"So much of how it was started when that cop got out....But I didn't know all this when it first happened. I didn't know there would ever be a Leonard, or that this man would be his father, or that anyone would have to die." Leonard is an eerily wise five-year-old boy with asthma, terrible eyesight, and the ability to captivate everyone he meets. Pearl is Leonard's devoted teenage mother, desperately trying to hide a violent secret from her past. Mitch is Leonard's 25-year-old next-door neighbour, busy running his own company and entertaining the Mayor's wife. Then one day Pearl drops Leonard off with Mitch, and never returns. How do you go on loving someone who isn't there? As truth and fiction, memory and dreams collide, Mitch finds himself learning from a surprising source the true, magical definition of love.
Click here to see all the titles in our Radio & TV Book Clubs collection.
©Catherine Ryan Hyde; (P)Random House
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Critic reviews

"Haunting." (Washington Post)
"A work of art...enchanting." (San Francisco Chronicle)
"Hyde excels in her story of a love that transcends time, place, and human weakness." (Publishers Weekly)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Kaggy on 08-12-13

A little gem

I don't normally like abridged books I was sufficiently intrigued to give it a go. I am so glad I did. I thought it was an incredibly unusual story. On one hand it could be seen as a sentimental exploration of the enduring nature of a mother's love. The story is however very gritty in places and I thought that Max's love story was heart wrenching.
I still think about this book several months after finishing it. This may be an abridged version but it was still a completely satisfying listen.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Wendy on 23-07-17

Wonderful book

I admire and enjoy this authors books and this one certainly did not let me down. I didn't want it to finish

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5 out of 5 stars
By Wanda on 29-03-15


Love in the Present Tense

So for a reader. And I do mean a reader, somebody that lives to read the next best book, little is as frustrating as not having a person, persons to tell all about your current amazing read. And as a reader, little is as frustrating as having a person tell you alllll about a book, a brilliant book, in the most minute detail. So we have a catch 22. While me the reader of the most brilliant book right this read wants to tell you everything about Love in the Present Tense a part of me knows I cannot.

What I can do is to tell you that if you love a hero/anti hero all in one then the ready made "father" in this story is your ultimate character. He is so human. So frail. So strong. So perfectly imperfect.

Pearl. She is present for so little of the book but the entire plot line, sub plot runs through her like breath through a human body. She is the perfect mom. Even at 14 this girl has her act together better than most real people I know. She is truly a pearl. A precious treasure. Not at all common.

The kid. At 5 this little guy climbed into my heart. At 18 he has done so much. Lived so much. Grown so much that I moved from love to admiration. Not a perfect human. None of these people are. But real, intense and with a wisdom unique to all their own experiences.

Can I recommend this book to any one?

Yes indeed I can. I think everybody can learn something from this and I think everybody should read this to learn more. You have all of this inside of you but trust me, the chances of you actually voicing all of these emotions and realizations are extremely limited.

I listened to this book on audio narrated by and
These three people made a brilliant story into a production to fall in love with.

Incase you guys do not recall who the author is. She wrote the following book amongst others; Pay it Forward!

This is one of those books where a 5 star rating simply does not do it justice.


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