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Extended Audio Sample Love in the Present Tense Audiobook, by Catherine Ryan Hyde Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (929 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Catherine Ryan Hyde Narrator: David Coburn, Jeremy Redleaf, Duana Speights Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2006 ISBN: 9780739332849
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For five years Pearl has managed to keep the past from catching up to her and her bright, frail five-year-old son. Life has given her every reason to mistrust people, but circumstances force her to trust her neighbor Mitch with watching Leonard while she goes off to work. Then one day Pearl drops her son off…and never returns.

They are an unlikely pair: Mitch is a young, unattached business owner, and Leonard is a precocious, five-year-old boy. But together they must find a way to move forward in the wake of Pearl’s unexplained disappearance. Their bond as parent and child shifts and endures, even as Mitch must eventually surrender Leonard to a two-parent home.

Is it possible to love the people who can’t always be there for us? The answers will surprise and move you. As their lives unfold, profound questions emerge about the nature of love and family. Ultimately, this novel’s richest reward is watching Mitch and Leonard grow up together, through the power and the magic of the human heart.

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Quotes & Awards

  • A sweet and honest look at the pains and pleasures of love, and who could not fall in love with Leonard—what a beautifully drawn character. Jane Green, bestselling author of Jemima J
  • Reviewers praise Catherine Ryan Hyde:
  • [Hyde’s] talent for portraying human emotions…she not only tugs at heartstrings but also deftly plays them while building to a poignant crescendo. [Hyde is] a perceptive and gentle-hearted writer. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
  • “Hyde is a remarkable, insightful storyteller, creating full-bodied characters whose dialogue rings true, with not a word to spare. Library Journal
  • “Brutally lyrical…Hyde movingly conveys the toll of years of emotional damage. Publishers Weekly
  • “Hyde is a magnificent storyteller, an expert at plot and pacing and voice…[Hyde] is worth reading again and again and again. Denver Post

    Brilliantly wrought, finely plotted…Every scene is sketched with beautiful brevity…Every vista takes your breath away.
  • “Haunting. Washington Post Book World

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Adele Walker | 2/17/2014

    " If you are looking for a break in your usual heavy going books, this is it! A great heart felt story about a little boy and the people in his life (or missing from his life). It was a wonderful story even if a bit on the soppy side. It is about relationships and love, not love in a relationship sense but the truest form of love, which can be found in the most peculiar places. A great read and I highly recommend it! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Suz | 2/16/2014

    " I normally get books from the library. This is one of the few books last year that I want to own. It's the story of a young man growing up without a mother and what he makes of his life. I know, I know, it sounds like a made for tv movie, but there was a twist that made it interesting. It's pretty light reading... nothing too stressful. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Candy | 2/5/2014

    " I read this at the same time I was reading HEFT, so this book suffered in comparison. I think by next month I will forget that I read this book- to me it was sort of pale and shallow. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Mallory | 2/5/2014

    " It's kinda schmaltzy... okay, REALLY schmaltzy... but I like this book in spite of myself. The characters aren't very real, but they serve more as an allegory than as real people. It's not great, but I enjoyed it anyway... almost in spite of myself. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alexa | 1/30/2014

    " I really liked this book, especially her writing style. Each chapter was from a different character's perspective. I would highly recommend this one. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Therese | 1/30/2014

    " Well, it was a little contrived, but something kept me reading it until the end. See for yourself if you like books that are a bit too much to believe, but have nice, warm fuzzy endings. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nadia | 1/27/2014

    " i have enjoyed this book very much...its a story that touches you a lot,has quiet a sad ending but a very good story line. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Stephanie | 1/11/2014

    " My favorite book so far. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Debbie | 1/10/2014

    " Leonard calls unconditional love forever love and for how much we get to know him, he is great at giving and receiving this vast love. I liked the characters but I dont feel I got to know as deeply as I wanted to in a book about forever love "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Agb | 12/29/2013

    " I finished this almost a month ago and am still thinking about the characters. It definitely stays with you, in a good way. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nouf | 12/23/2013

    " Amazing book ! a really nice story "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Emeshea | 12/1/2013

    " A bit of a mystery, and a great story of love. An easy read that is enjoyable. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Hope | 11/29/2013

    " I'm not sure how I feel about this book. At times I enjoyed it and at other times I was frustrated by it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sheila | 11/12/2013

    " A great read. I wanted to take care of Pearl and Leonard from the moment I met them and I would like to marry Mitch. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Judith | 9/13/2013

    " I loved this book and everything about it - the way it was written, the humour, the messages about life. An uplifting and warm read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cheryl | 9/1/2013

    " The most perfect ending to any book I have ever read. I never reread books, but reread the ending of this one for months. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Millie | 7/20/2013

    " Terrible. Reads like a sappy movie script. Dialogue is appallingly written and the plot asks for a ridiculous level of suspension of disbelief. Not heartwarming or life affirming in the least, just silly and a complete waste of time. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Charlotte | 6/23/2013

    " I wasn't really sure if I was going to like this book when I first started it, but I actually found it really enjoyable and became genuinely interested in the characters. Its not going to change your life but it's a nice read and I would thoroughly recommend it. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sue Pelman | 6/16/2013

    " Not a particularly memorable read, but pleasant enough. Author lives in Cambria, making me want to read all of her books, in hopes of meeting her some day. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sarah D | 6/6/2013

    " This book was very good, interesting, and in a good way, sad. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mae | 12/29/2012

    " bought this copy at the johannesburg international airport while waiting for my flight at 2330....i started it and it grabbed at my heart. it's a beautiful story but like tons of beautiful stories....it's sooooo sad "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tracey Kenard | 8/16/2012

    " Great story. Sad & insightful. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dana | 8/11/2012

    " Really great read. Characters were very detailed and the plot kept me interested all the way through. The end is amazing. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Trpaslyk | 6/10/2012

    " A very emotive story of a joung boy/man Leonard and his relation to his only friend Mitchell. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Maria | 5/31/2012

    " Ultimately this book is about love. The son never doubts that his mother loved him even though she has not been there for him physically. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nicole | 7/3/2011

    " okay. Enjoyable but lacking "stickiness" - while I enjoyed it, it hasn't really stuck in my head the way a really good read does. Still, doesn't mean I wouldn't recommend it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Debbie | 6/16/2011

    " Leonard calls unconditional love forever love and for how much we get to know him, he is great at giving and receiving this vast love. I liked the characters but I dont feel I got to know as deeply as I wanted to in a book about forever love "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sue | 5/30/2011

    " Not a particularly memorable read, but pleasant enough. Author lives in Cambria, making me want to read all of her books, in hopes of meeting her some day. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Trpaslyk | 4/19/2011

    " A very emotive story of a joung boy/man Leonard and his relation to his only friend Mitchell. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Diane | 3/26/2011

    " Told in the voices of Pearl, Leonard, and Mitch, an unconventional family, I love this insightful story of people struggling to be all they can be in the face of tremendous odds. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nouf | 12/26/2010

    " Amazing book ! a really nice story "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Karine | 12/17/2010

    " Sweetest book ever!!! This is a must-read! I loved it <3 "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 K (Karen) | 11/17/2010

    " A little hard to read because of the changes in the storyteller from chapter to chapter, but still entertaining and thought-provoking. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Pam | 11/15/2010

    " Really, 3.5 stars. I read this a while ago, so it's hard to recall much useful information about it. I remember liking it for its originality. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Renie | 10/24/2010

    " A touching love story between a man and a boy. Now don't go getting all pedophile on me, this is a father/son-ish relationship that's touching and endearing and well written. The chapters switch back and forth from each perspective. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sarah | 9/28/2010

    " This book was very good, interesting, and in a good way, sad. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Andrea | 8/16/2010

    " Was hesitant at first because summary sounded so depressing but am so glad I gave this book a chance. I listened to the audio and the cast did a great job. Was a very good listen! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ian | 7/29/2010

    " Love in the Present Tense by Catherine Ryan Hyde (2007) "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tara | 7/18/2010

    " I just adored the characters in this book.
    It was just so lovely. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Denise | 7/14/2010

    " This book just never took off for me. I kept reading thinking it would get better. It didn't. It could have been a really good book, it had a good story idea but just wasn't really developed very well. I don't think I would recommend that anyone waste their precious reading time on this book. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Suzy | 7/14/2010

    " Finished this quickly but still not sure how I feel about it. Maybe a bit too preachy, and not the quirky book I was expecting.
    "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Emeshea | 6/28/2010

    " A bit of a mystery, and a great story of love. An easy read that is enjoyable. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Emma | 4/30/2010

    " I really enjoyed this book. The writing styles took some getting used to but it is a great story "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Atheer | 3/27/2010

    " Unfortunately couldn't bring my self to continue reading it. "

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About the Author
Author Catherine Ryan Hyde

Catherine Ryan Hyde is the author of the critically acclaimed novel Pay It Forward, which has been made into a film by Warner Bros. She is also the author of Funerals for Horses and numerous short stories, including the collection Earthquake Weather. She lives in Cambria, California.