Other People’s Pets

Celadon. Jul. 2020. 304p. ISBN 9781250304131. $26.99. F
DEBUT NOVEL La La Fine is an animal empath extraordinaire finally enjoying a stable life. She is in veterinary school and lives with her devoted fiancé, Clem, a chiropractor, and their loving animals, Black and Blue. But her complicated childhood catches up with her, derailing all she holds dear. Long abandoned by a cold mother who walked away while La La was drowning in an icy pond and raised by Zev, the locksmith/thief father who taught her his trades, she is drawn back into his drama when he is arrested for breaking into a home, which causes the elderly owner to tumble down the stairs—a fall he may not survive. La La takes on Zev’s attorney’s fees, using her empathic gifts and her housebreaking skills to steal from homes that also house animals in distress. No good can come from this plan.
VERDICT Following Maizes’s story collection, We Love Anderson Cooper, this debut novel brings to life a wholly original, deeply charming, and seriously flawed character whose enormous heart leads her into a mess of trouble. A beguiling tale that will make readers want to leap into the pages to save La La from herself before it’s too late.
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