The Art of Racing in the Rain Questions and Answers
by Garth Stein

Start Your Free Trial

What happens in the end of The Art of Racing in the Rain?

Expert Answers info

Ashly Hintz eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseTeacher (K-12), Professional Tutor

bookB.S. from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


calendarEducator since 2019

write716 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

The finale of the novel The Art of Racing in the Rain is both heartwarming and heartbreaking, wrapping up all the threads that were loose throughout the novel, centering on Enzo (the dog) and his family. Enzo passes away at the close of the novel, believing he will be reborn into a human. Having loved racing his entire life, the ending alludes to the idea that he was, in fact, reincarnated, as a young boy whose name is Enzo approaches Danny and wishes to be a race car driver.

Danny's wife, Eve, passes away, leaving Danny and his daughter, Zoe, to move to Italy and start their life over. Eve's parents had been suing for custody of Zoe following Eve's death, but have decided to drop the lawsuit. Danny accepts a spur-of-the-moment job offer from Luca to be a test driver for Formula One cars in Italy, and it is there that he takes his daughter and meets the young Enzo.

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Lauren Willson, M.A. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseCollege Professor

bookM.A. from Radford University


calendarEducator since 2017

write1,502 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Law and Politics

At the end of Racing in the Rain, Enzo dies. Danny and his daughter move to Italy to start a new life.

Danny's wife died, and her parents sued for custody of Danny and Eve's daughter. At the end of the book, they drop the lawsuit. Zoe spends a few days with them before she returns home. Danny accepts the job with Luca in Italy; he and Zoe will move there to start fresh after all the problems they've had in the wake of her mother's death. Danny will be a test driver for Ferrari.

Enzo dies. He's not unhappy about it. For Enzo, death is just the next step on his journey. He believes that after a dog dies, it is reborn as a human.

In Italy, a young racing fan approaches Danny, who's a successful Formula One driver and just been crowned champion for the year. The boy's name is Enzo. Danny promises that if they call him when Enzo is older, he'll make sure Enzo gets the proper instruction in driving racecars.

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

stolperia eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2011

write2,948 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and History

Several storylines are interwoven in The Art of Racing in the Rain. Many things come together quickly, and in unexpected ways, to bring closure to all the issues addressed in the book.

Enzo, the dog and narrator of the story, dies in Denny's arms, sparing him the ordeal of going to the vet and asking to have the dog euthanized. Enzo is grateful to be able to die on his terms, confident that he will come back to live again, as a human the next time.

He died that day because his body had served its purpose. His soul had done what it came to do, learned what it came to learn, and then was free to leave.

Eve's parents agree to concede custody of Zoe back to Denny. As Denny is baking cookies to celebrate Zoe's return home, a phone call from Luca Pantoni again offers Denny the job as a test driver for Ferrarri in Italy. Denny realizes he is now in a position to be able to accept the job, but still questions why Luca is offering it.

Luca explains that when his wife died, a near-stranger saved him, emotionally, by offering him a job as a driver with Ferrari. Luca is pleased to be able to pass the opportunity forward by now helping another widower find life after the passing of his spouse.

In the final scene in the book, Zoe approaches her father after he has completed a driving session in Italy. She wants Denny to sign an autograph for a young boy she has encountered who says he is Denny's biggest fan. When Denny asks the boy his name, the answer is, "Enzo."

check Approved by eNotes Editorial