Have You Seen Luis Velez? by Catherine Ryan Hyde

Get it on Amazon
LakeUnion/Little Bird
Release May 21st

From New York Times bestselling author Catherine Ryan Hyde comes a moving novel about two strangers who find that kindness is a powerful antidote to fear.

Raymond Jaffe feels like he doesn’t belong. Not with his mother’s new family. Not as a weekend guest with his father and his father’s wife. Not at school, where he’s an outcast. After his best friend moves away, Raymond has only two real connections: to the feral cat he’s tamed and to a blind ninety-two-year-old woman in his building who’s introduced herself with a curious question: Have you seen Luis Velez?

Mildred Gutermann, a German Jew who narrowly escaped the Holocaust, has been alone since her caretaker disappeared. She turns to Raymond for help, and as he tries to track Luis down, a deep and unexpected friendship blossoms between the two.

Despondent at the loss of Luis, Mildred isolates herself further from a neighborhood devolving into bigotry and fear. Determined not to let her give up, Raymond helps her see that for every terrible act the world delivers, there is a mirror image of deep kindness, and Mildred helps Raymond see that there’s hope if you have someone to hold on to.

Wow, you guys. Wow wow wow.

Raymond Jaffe has two beings he connects with: a feral cat he has somehow tamed and a ninety-two year-old blind woman. Her introduction to him was via one simple question–– “Have you seen Luis Velez?”

Mildred Gutermann is a German Jew who finds an unlikely friend in Raymond. What happens next is a beautiful journey into an albeit strange yet poignant friendship.

I LOVED this book. It’s one I will be buying in bulk and sharing with my friends and family, which is something I’ve only done with three other books. (The Fault in Our Stars, The Book Thief, and Tuesdays with Morrie)

It truly was an unexpected joy to read and a crowning moment for Catherine Ryan Hyde.

5 Stars

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