The Art of Racing in the Rain

by Garth Stein

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Chapters 57-58 Summary

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The day after the trial, Mr. Lawrence informs Denny that Eve’s parents have dropped their custody suit. They ask only that Denny give them a couple of days to say good-bye to Zoe. Denny is under no obligation to grant them their request, but he does so. He spends his time preparing for Zoe’s return. One of his tasks is to make her favorite cookies.

While he is baking the cookies, the phone rings. On the other end of the line is Luca Pantoni, calling from Italy. Luca is returning Denny’s call. Denny asks him if the job offer he had made is still open. Luca tells Denny that the job is still his, and he looks forward to meeting both his dog and his daughter. Before Luca hangs up, Denny wants to know why Luca chose him for the job. Luca had told him earlier that it was because he was a good driver but that he also had another secret reason. Luca had wanted to keep that reason secret until Denny was with him in Italy but Denny cannot stand the anticipation any longer. Luca gives in. He tells Denny that he, too, lost his wife. He thought he would die along with her because he was so miserable. What saved Luca from his grief was that a man at Ferrari offered him a job driving cars for him. Luca says this man literally saved his life. In turn, Luca felt he should help someone in a similar situation. He feels very lucky to be able to offer Denny some help, just as his mentor offered his hand to Luca.

Meanwhile, Enzo is feeling worse. His hips feel frozen and he is in constant pain. He feels that growing old is pathetic. He knows it is inevitable, but that does not make old age any more pleasant. He believes that one day maybe a child will be born who does not believe in getting old, and that child will live in health until he is done with life.

Enzo does not want Denny to worry about him. He does not want Denny to feel the hurt of having to take Enzo to the vet to be euthanized. Enzo does not like the sound of that word, nor does he like the emotion that goes along with it. He does not want Denny to think he had to make the decision to put Enzo to death. Rather, Enzo likes the concept of assisted suicide. There is nothing passive about that. His will is to die. He is ready.

When Denny comes to Enzo one morning and leans down to pet his companion of so many years, Enzo’s legs collapse. Denny sits down and cradles Enzo’s head, then he tells Enzo that if he wants to go it is all right with him. Enzo knows that when he comes back, he will come as a man. Then he slowly falls into a deep dream. He is running again.

The story ends with Zoe and Denny in Italy. Zoe asks her father to do her a favor and meet someone who has told her he is Denny’s biggest fan. When Denny asks the boy his name, the boy says his name is Enzo.

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Chapters 53-56 Summary