Enzo knows he is different from other dogs: a philosopher with a nearly human soul (and an obsession with opposable thumbs), he has educated himself by watching television extensively, and by listening very closely to the words of his master, Denny Swift, an up-and-coming race car driver.
Through Denny, Enzo has gained tremendous insight into the human condition, and he sees that life, like racing, isn’t simply about going fast. Using the techniques needed on the race track, one can successfully navigate all of life’s ordeals.
On the eve of his death, Enzo takes stock of his life, recalling all that he and his family have been through: the sacrifices Denny has made to succeed professionally; the unexpected loss of Eve, Denny’s wife; the three-year battle over their daughter, Zoë, whose maternal grandparents pulled every string to gain custody. In the end, despite what he sees as his own limitations, Enzo comes through heroically to preserve the Swift family, holding in his heart the dream that Denny will become a racing champion with Zoë at his side. Having learned what it takes to be a compassionate and successful person, the wise canine can barely wait until his next lifetime, when he is sure he will return as a man.
You don’t even have to own a dog to love this book because Enzo is the kind of loyal friend anyone would long for in their lives.
The BEST part of this story is that the entire thing was told from Enzo’s perspective. This gives the reader a first hand look into the heart of a dog. A dog has the most beautiful spirit and loyal heart! The most heartbreaking part of this story is that Enzo is more worried about how Denny will feel without him. Enzo is suffering and in pain. He is trying to prepare Denny to be able to let go.
Enzo was with Denny from the start of his adult life. He witnessed Denny falling in love, getting married, having a baby… he knew before anyone else through his senses that Eve, Denny’s Wife, was gravely ill. He vowed to protect their daughter Zoe no matter what.
This review is dedicated to all the loyal dogs out their, their owners, the unwavering love that these spirit animals provide to us unconditionally every single day of their lives!
Plus…. the end… omg! It couldn’t have been better. ❤️
Garth Stein is the author of four novels: the New York Times bestselling gothic/historical/coming-of-age/ghost story, “A Sudden Light;” the internationally bestselling “The Art of Racing in the Rain;” the PNBA Book Award winner, “How Evan Broke His Head and Other Secrets;” and the magically realistic “Raven Stole the Moon.” He is also the author of the stage play, “Brother Jones.” He has a dog, he’s raced a few cars, climbed a bunch of really tall trees, made a few documentary films, and he lives in Seattle with his family. He’s co-founder of Seattle7Writers.org, a non-profit collective of 74 Northwest authors working together to energize the reading and writing public.