When Love Comes to Town

New introduction by James Klise

The year is 1990, and in his hometown of Dublin, Ireland, Neil Byrne plays rugby, keeps up with the in-crowd at his school, and is just a regular guy. A guy who’s gay. It’s a secret he keeps from the wider world as he explores the city at night and struggles to figure out how to reveal his real self—and to whom. First published in Ireland in 1993 and compared to The Catcher in the Rye by critics, Tom Lennon’s When Love Comes to Town is told with honesty, humor and originality.

  • 304 Pages
  • 5.50" x 8.25"
  • 9780807589168
  • March 2013

Buy from Albert Whitman

  • 9780807589175
  • May 2015

Other Places to Buy


  • Neil’s internal dialogue—including imagined conversations with Jesus Christ—helps readers understand the accumulating pressure he feels.

    - Publishers Weekly

  • In spite of all Neil faces, and the 20-year gap between him and today’s teens, this story feels relevant.

    - Booklist Online

  • Lennon does well to lighten the story through tender and uplifting moments, and his use of song lyrics and music add to the book’s sweet complexity.

    - School Library Journal

  • His vibrant characters and their realistic repartee keep the work from getting too mopey. It’s a mostly solid novel of identification that’s entirely capable of speaking to today’s youth.

    - Kirkus Reviews

Common Core