Catherine Ryan Hyde's Pay It Forward, um, paid off, doubtless making it materially easier for her to write more crowd-pleasers. Which she's done with her new novel, Love in the Present Tense, the story of single Mitch, who finds himself suddenly responsible for his five-year-old fatherless neighbor, Leonard, when the latter's mother disappears. Sentimentality in fiction is neither a crime nor new. Dickens certainly trafficked in it; what clicked for Charlie profits others, too. Reach your own verdict tonight when Hyde reads at 7 p.m. at Left Bank Books (399 North Euclid Avenue; 314-367-6731 or www.left-bank.com). No payment, forward or otherwise, is required for this event.
Wed., May 31