The Art of Racing in the Rain

by Garth Stein

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Chapters 39-40 Summary

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Zoe builds a fortress of stuffed animals around Enzo as he naps during a visit one day. There are hundreds of them—teddy bears, giraffes, sharks, dogs, cats, and birds. Enzo finds this amusing and touching. He loves that Zoe includes him in her games. He falls back to sleep feeling content. But then in the middle of the night he awakens and finds the infamous zebra on top of the heap and staring down at him. It is not the same one Enzo had watched tear itself apart, but it is its duplicate. Enzo knows for sure that the demon has returned. Enzo can hardly move or sleep for the rest of that night knowing that the monster zebra is watching him. Enzo wonders, if it were capable of dismembering itself, what might it do to him?

While Enzo visits Zoe, he overhears many conversations between Eve’s parents. As he listens, he grows to liking them less and less for all the harm they are doing to Denny. Although Enzo does not have the power to talk back to them and tell them what he thinks of them, he nonetheless devises a scheme to show what he feels about them. In the kitchen one night, Maxwell offers Enzo one of the hot peppers that Maxwell loves to eat. Enzo had foolishly accepted one of those peppers at an earlier time, when Eve was still alive. It had burned his stomach and disturbed his bowels. But when Maxwell offers Enzo a pepper this time, Enzo takes it knowingly. Later that evening, when Maxwell opens the back door and tells Enzo to go out into the backyard and do his business, Enzo refuses to move. Instead, he squats down near Maxwell’s feet and leaves a gooey mess.

Enzo then trots up to Zoe’s room and snuggles into the space inside the ring of stuffed animals. He feels proud of what he has done. He then looks at the zebra and softly growls at it. Enzo knows the demon completely understands what he just did at Maxwell’s feet. This act of revenge, Enzo thinks, should be a sign of his power so the demon zebra should never again mess with him.

At the end of summer, Denny finally has his day in court concerning the custody of Zoe. Although not everything is settled, Mark Fein wins visitation rights for Denny and Zoe. Denny will have Zoe every other weekend. When Denny returns from court that day, to Enzo’s surprise, he brings Zoe with him.

While she is home, Zoe wants to know if her father is still working in Europe as he had told her. Denny says he is not; he will now be home. Zoe asks if that means she can come home. Denny has to answer that it is not yet possible. Zoe says maybe she has made her grandparents love her too much; maybe that is why they will not allow her to leave them. Denny consoles his daughter, telling her that she is not the one who has done anything wrong. He will eventually bring her home, so she does not have to worry about anything.

Although the restraining order has been lifted and Denny has won visitation rights, the charges of rape still remain. Enzo knows they are just beginning the fight. But Enzo has faith in Denny. He knows Denny would be a formidable challenge to anyone who messed with him.

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Chapters 36-38 Summary


Chapters 41-45 Summary