Have You Seen Luis Velez?

Have You Seen Luis Velez? by Catherine Ryan Hyde. Lake Union Publishing, 320 pages.  ***** Published May 21, 2019.

Raymond Jaffe feels like he doesn't belong; not in his mother's new family, not at his father's house every other weekend, not in school and now his only friend is moving away. When a woman downstairs in his building asks, "Have You Seen Luis Velez?" Raymond is drawn into the life of a ninety-two-year-old, blind woman named Mildred Gutermann. Millie and Raymond form a friendship that is beneficial to both of them and transcends their ages. Raymond takes it upon himself to try and find out what happened to Luis who came three times a week to help Millie for 4 years until one day Luis didn't show up.

Hyde's stories are always feel good ones for me. She provides hope in an otherwise crazy mixed up world. Being an animal lover, there is usually an animal, which is integral to the story, and in this case it is a feral cat. Luis feeds a cat in an abandoned building and takes it with him when neighborhood boys are looking for it to hurt it. While searching for Millie's Luis, Raymond encounters many who wish they had the time or the opportunity to help others.

This is one of those stories that stayed with me after I finished it. Hyde inspires me to be a better person and to help others. Add this book to your TBR list and you won't be disappointed.

I received an ecopy for a review.

Other enjoyable books by Catherine Ryan Hyde:

Just After Midnight

Heaven Adjacent

Allie and Bea

The Wakeup

Say Goodbye For Now

Ask Him Why


Catherine Ryan Hyde is the author of more than thirty published and forthcoming books. An avid hiker, traveler, equestrian, and amateur photographer, she has released her first book of photos, 365 Days of Gratitude: Photos from a Beautiful World.

Her novel Pay It Forward was adapted into a major motion picture, chosen by the American Library Association for its Best Books for Young Adults list, and translated into more than twenty-three languages for distribution in over thirty countries. Both Becoming Chloe and Jumpstart the World were included on the ALA’s Rainbow List, and Jumpstart the World was a finalist for two Lambda Literary Awards. Where We Belong won two Rainbow Awards in 2013, and The Language of Hoofbeats won a Rainbow Award in 2015.

More than fifty of her short stories have been published in the Antioch Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, the Virginia Quarterly Review, Ploughshares, Glimmer Train, and many other journals and in the anthologies Santa Barbara Stories and California Shorts and the bestselling anthology Dog Is My Co-Pilot. Her stories have been honored by the Raymond Carver Short Story Contest and the Tobias Wolff Award and nominated for Best American Short Stories, the O’Henry Award, and the Pushcart Prize. Three have been cited in Best American Short Stories.

She is founder and former president (2000–2009) of the Pay It Forward Foundation and still serves on its board of directors. As a professional public speaker, she has addressed the National Conference on Education, twice spoken at Cornell University, met with AmeriCorps members at the White House, and shared a dais with Bill Clinton. Visit her at www.catherineryanhyde.com.

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