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Have You Seen Luis Velez? Kindle Edition
An Amazon Charts and Wall Street Journal bestseller.
New York Times bestselling author Catherine Ryan Hyde brings heartwarming authenticity to the story of 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.
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"A master of making a heartwarming tale feel authentic and socially urgent, Hyde (Just After Midnight, 2018, etc.) deftly sketches the plights of Raymond and Millie, weighting their friendship with worries and regrets that echo as true...A tender tale of new families born of chance and the determination to bring light into darkness." --Kirkus Reviews
"Hyde (Heaven Adjacent, 2018) has crafted a spellbinding coming-of-age story deepened by the satisfaction of belonging, the vibrancy of community, and the power of connection. Fans of Liane Moriarty and Kristin Hannah will adore the deep connection between the unlikeliest of friends." --Booklist
"Heartwarming...This touching portrait of Raymond's sorrow, and his quest for understanding the world and why it seems so unfair, is a solid choice for book groups with a lot of important issues to discuss." --Library Journal
"A deftly crafted novel with an underlying message about the power of simple kindness, Have You Seen Luis Velez? by Catherine Ryan Hyde is a thoroughly engaging read from first page to last." --Midwest Book Review
"This is one of the best audiobooks I have ever heard.... The narrator of this fully-voiced audiobook, Michael Crouch, is outstanding. His measured speeches, initially defining the hesitant, insecure Raymond, gain strength and presence as the story progresses. His female voices--both Mrs. G. and Isabelle--are special, reflecting their heritage and personality." --Sound Commentary--This text refers to the audioCD edition.
- ASIN : B07JZ3G2WQ
- Publisher : Lake Union Publishing (21 May 2019)
- Language : English
- File size : 3190 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 322 pages
- Page numbers source ISBN : 1542042364
- Best Sellers Rank: 9,196 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Seventeen year old Raymond Jaffe, feels like he doesn’t belong. Not with his mother’s new family and not as a weekend guest with his father and his father’s wife. An outcast at school, especially now that his best friend has moved away, the only company he has is a feral cat he’s tamed. Then one day he sees an elderly lady who lives in his apartment building who appears to be in distress. She asks Raymond if he’s seen Luis Velez.
Mildred Gutermann is blind, housebound and desperate. For the past four years, her friend Luis has accompanied her to the bank and helped her to do her weekly grocery shopping. For some reason however, he hasn’t been to see her in the last couple of weeks and now, because he was her only connection to the outside world, her food supply has slowly dwindled.
When Raymond steps in to help Millie with her weekly errands, an unlikely friendship develops between the two. Sensing her fear and anxiety for her absent friend, Raymond takes it upon himself to find out what happened to Luis Velez. But in a city consisting of twenty listings under Luis Velez - some even with different variations, Raymond’s search proves to be no easy task...
Powered by adept character development and relentless pacing, this was my third novel from the author about a young man finding his way in life and the unique friendship that develops between him and his elderly blind neighbour.
Raymond is a 17 year old African American. His father is black, while his mother, stepdad and siblings are white. Despite visiting his father every other weekend, his father’s new wife resents his presence. Raymond feels unwanted, unloved and alienated as the only black in a white household. In spite of his troubled home life, however, Raymond is an altruistic, fiercely loyal and perceptive individual.
Mildred Gutermann is a ninety two year old German Jew who narrowly escaped the Holocaust and suffers from survivors guilt. Raymond finds himself drawn to her because she’s wise, non judgemental and sees him for who he truly is.
Once again, I was blown away by how deftly the author managed to push every one of my reading buttons. This was a captivating and emotional novel which pulled on my heartstrings. I found myself deeply invested in the characters from the beginning and when the fate of a certain character was revealed, I couldn’t stop the tears from flowing. The secondary characters were equally complex and believable and the plot was engaging enough to keep one reading past two or three in the morning.
Having read three books from the author, it’s apparent that life lessons and moral dilemmas are a part of her signature style. Each book has an underlining message. In this novel, she tackles racism, preconceived ideas, white privilege and tribalism. She also demonstrates how class and privilege can affect the outcome of ones life and touches briefly on sexual orientation.
Despite its thought provoking themes, this is nevertheless an uplifting and life affirming story about kindness, humility, integrity, acceptance and compassion that is sometimes found in unexpected places. It’s underlining message being that for every evil acted meted out in the world, there is also a mirror image of deep kindness.
“The world will still be a place where people do terrible things. But here’s the thing about despair. We fall into despair when the terrible gangs up on us and we forget the world can also be wonderful. We just see terrible everywhere we look. So what you do for your friend is you bring up the wonderful, so both are side-by-side. The world is terrible and wonderful at the same time. One doesn’t negate the other, but the wonderful keeps us in the game. It keeps us moving forward. And I’m sorry to tell you this Raymond but that’s as good as the world is going to get.”
Through Millie, Raymond is able to find his place in the world. Thanks to Raymond, Millie is able to see that there is hope as long as one has someone to hold on to. That even though life tests us - sometimes to the point of despair - it can also be beautiful - a precious gift that we should hold on to for however long we can.
Friendship, hope, resilience.. This is wonderful life affirming read that will reel you in. Highly Recommended.
This book does all of that, talking the injustice of our society and balancing it with the relief friendship and understanding can bring.
Amazing the generosity of those found from those who were poor/ rich alike!