Author: R.L. Maizes
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Publisher: Celadon Books
Publication Date: July 14, 2020
Book Description: R.L. Maizes’s Other People’s Pets examines the gap between the families we’re born into and those we create, and the danger that holding on to a troubled past may rob us of the future.
La La Fine relates to animals better than she does to other people. Abandoned by a mother who never wanted a family, raised by a locksmith-turned-thief father, La La looks to pets when it feels like the rest of the world conspires against her.
La La’s world stops being whole when her mother, who never wanted a child, abandons her twice. First, when La La falls through thin ice on a skating trip, and again when the accusations of “unfit mother” feel too close to true. Left alone with her father―a locksmith by trade, and a thief in reality―La La is denied a regular life. She becomes her father’s accomplice, calming the watchdog while he strips families of their most precious belongings.
When her father’s luck runs out and he is arrested for burglary, everything La La has painstakingly built unravels. In her fourth year of veterinary school, she is forced to drop out, leaving school to pay for her father’s legal fees the only way she knows how―robbing homes once again.
As an animal empath, she rationalizes her theft by focusing on houses with pets whose maladies only she can sense and caring for them before leaving with the family’s valuables. The news reports a puzzled police force―searching for a thief who left behind medicine for the dog, water for the parrot, or food for the hamster.
Desperate to compensate for new and old losses, La La continues to rob homes, but it’s a strategy that ultimately will fail her.
Rating: 3 1/2 Stars
Mini Review: The story of La La and her father Zev in this almost surreal novel. La La was abandoned by her mother when she was young and she lived with her father who was a locksmith by trade and a burglar on the side. La La becomes his accomplice while growing up. La La is also an empath with animals. Her goal is to become a veterinarian.
When we meet La La she is in vet school, engaged to be married to a man she loves and is on the straight and narrow. Her father is arrested and this one has attempted murder attached to it. La La wants nothing more than to help her father, so she goes back to her old ways to help accumulate money to pay for the attorney.
The story has so many layers that gets revealed. La La strives to do what is right, but is willing to risk everything to save a person that might not be savable. Zev was an endearing character along with La La. They both would do anything for each other, but a lot of mistakes seem to be made.
It was a lovely story, and definitely falls into the complicated families subset of books. This is the first book I read by this author, but can’t wait to read more.