Have You Seen Luis Velez?

Luis Velez

Author: Catherine Ryan Hyde

Publisher: Lake Union

Release Date: May 21, 2019

Rating: 5 Stars

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

Another wonderful, heartwarming and deep story by an author I have come to rely on to pull my heartstrings and deliver a tale like no one else.

 It can be hard growing up and feeling like you don’t belong anywhere. Raymond Jaffe feels this way living with his mother and her new family.  He spends the weekends with his father and stepmother he is even more out of place. When his best friend moves, he is left with a stray cat he has taken a liking to and a blind ninety-two-year old woman from his building who needs his help. The first time he met her, she was asking about a man named Luis Velez. Luis had been coming to help her go to the bank and grocery story and has disappeared. Mildred Gutterman is worried about him but also needs help to provide her basic needs she can’t do on her own. She and her family escaped the Holocaust and has been on her own since her husband passed away. Luis came to help her and when he stopped coming without an explanation, she feared the worst might have happened. Raymond works to help Mildred survive and find out what happened to Luis and give her closure. The more they dig, the farther Mildred retreats into herself and Raymond makes it his mission to show her that even in the hard times there is always hope.

 Every single novel I read by Catherine Ryan Hyde pulls me in further and shows me she is one of the very best at crafting a story that pulls at your heartstrings and character relationships that very few other author could pull off. The relation between Raymond and Mildred is one that normally wouldn’t have worked out, but the way they came together here was so natural and beautiful. There are so many life lessons in this book: friendship, kindness, hope when things seem lost, family, even if it isn’t blood relatives. The job that Raymond has, trying to help Mildred, isn’t an easy one; he could have just made a call and tried to get her government assistance, but he didn’t. Raymond needed Mildred as much as she needed him, even if he didn’t realize it or want to admit it. One thing this book teaches us it to pay attention to who is around us.  It may be easy to look the other way or pass the person down the hall and think they aren’t are problem or concern, but we might be the only thing keeping them handing on in a tough time. I could go on and on about the lessons and little gems in this book for readers, but it is better to soak them in with the passing of each page. I highly recommend this book to readers looking for a read that will touch their heart and show them that good people are still out there ready and willing to do what is right.

 I received a complimentary copy of this title from the publisher.  The views and opinions expressed within are my own.

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