What I’m Reading: Have You Seen Luis Velez?

The book Have You Seen Luis Velez? by Catherine Ryan Hyde showed up my recommended book list on Audible and I decided to give it a try.  As much as I love historical fiction, I often need a little break from it.  This sounded lighter and just what I needed.


I loved the book..but I can’t say it was “lighter”.   I wasn’t hooked immediately.  It took a few chapters but then I fell in love with the main character, Raymond, and I was “ear to the Audible” the rest of the way.  The book was a story about prejudice and done wonderfully in a way that I think will touch every reader.  I highly recommend this a book club book as it offers much to discuss and talk about.

Here’s what Amazon has to say: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.”

Amazon readers give the book 4.7 stars.  I would agree.  I read one Amazon review that suggested the author included too many controversial topics for one book.  I disagree.  People are multifaceted and have more than one way to define themselves.  I think that the book pulls everything together in a wonderful way helping us see how history and things that touch our lives as a child live on and stay with us even in old age.

I have good news for Kindle Unlimited subscribers.  The book is currently available for free if you have that subscription.   You can find the book HERE. If you don’t, I think the book was $5.99 on Amazon.  I noticed that many of the authors other books are also free with Kindle Unlimited.

2 thoughts on “What I’m Reading: Have You Seen Luis Velez?

  1. Stearns Carol

    I’m reading “What did you do in the War, Sister? Its about a group of nuns in Belgium during WWII. The book is based on a diary that was kept at a convent during WWII in Belgium and found in the recent past. The Nuns were part of the resistance and helped to hide people and more. It is adapted from the diaries and features on AMerican nun in the convent. Its quite interesting and I’m early into it. https://www.amazon.com/What-Did-You-War-Sister-ebook/dp/B084YS54P3/ref=sr_1_1?crid=2FUJVQJR52QR8&dchild=1&keywords=what+did+you+do+in+the+war%2C+sister&qid=1588598920&sprefix=what+did+you+do+%2Caps%2C182&sr=8-1
    I think you would enjoy this Jo.

  2. Julie Letvin

    I have loved every single Catherine Ryan Hyde book that I’ve read. I’m going to go check to see if I’ve missed any – bonus if it is a free one!

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