Raymond Jaffe feels like he doesn’t belong. Not with his mother’s new family — his stepfather and three younger sisters. 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 introduced herself one morning by asking a curious question: Have you seen Luis Velez?
Mildred Gutermann, a German Jew who narrowly escaped the Holocaust, has been alone in her apartment since her caretaker, Luis, vanished. Nearing desperation, she turns to Raymond for help. As he searches for Luis, 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. Mildred helps Raymond see that there’s hope if you have someone to hold on to.
Have You Seen Luis Velez? is a moving hew novel from Catherine Ryan Hyde, one of America’s favorite storytellers, about two strangers who find that kindness is a powerful antidote to fear.