An endearing and delightful story of friendship, aging, loss and kindness.
Raymond Jaffa is sixteen, a high school student and feels like he doesn’t belong anywhere. Not in school, not with his mom’s new family and not with his dad’s family either. His best friend moved away and now he spends his time with a 92-year-old woman who lives in his building, and is looking for Luis Velez.
Millie, a German Jew, has been alone since her caretaker, Luis, disappeared three weeks ago. She’s blind and finds Raymond in the stairwell of their building and asks for help. Raymond realizes Millie, has no food left and immediately agrees to walk her to the bank and the store. He also want to figure out what happened to Luis Velez and starts a search of his own. While he is looking for Luis a deep and unexpected friendship develops between the two. Milllie is deeply despondent over the disappearance of Luis and Raymond does his best to help, while dealing with his own unhappy family life.
“Living long is a gift denied to many, and so it comes with a responsibility to make the most of it. At very least to appreciate it. People gripe about growing older — their aches and pains, how much harder everything is — as if they had forgotten that the alternative is dying young.”
HAVE YOU SEEN LUIS VELEZ is a endearing and delightful story of friendship, aging, loss and kindness. The story provides a richly delivered portrait of two kindred souls, years apart in age, but both struggling to make sense of this terrible but wonderful world. Raymond Jaffa’s compassion is inspiring.
Raymond’s search for Luis brings him in touch with an assortment of people and places which open his eyes to a wider world. A perfectly brilliant cast of characters is showcased, including Raymond’s carping mom, to the helpful school librarian and the evil step mom that makes every attempt to block Raymond from seeing his dad.
Author CATHERINE RYAN HYDE’s writing is powerful and poignant and I couldn’t stop myself from inhaling the pages. It’s a gem of a novel of friendship that may just change the way you look at the world.
“When you decide to be alone or have a family, you’re pretty much choosing between feeling lonely or feeling aggravated.”
Publisher Lake Union Publishing
Published May 21, 2019
Narrated Michael Crouch