The Art of Racing in the Rain

by Garth Stein

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Chapters 7-9 Summary

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When Zoe was a few months old, Eve put her in daycare and returned to her job at a department store. Denny was working all day at the auto parts store, so Enzo was left alone for the first time. Denny used to have a job that allowed him to work at home. When Eve was pregnant, she stayed at home, too. But with the new routine everyone was gone and Enzo felt abandoned. His days felt long, and all he could do was nap or stare out the windows. He really hated it.

Then one day, Denny forgot to turn off the television set before he left, and Enzo found one of the joys of his life. He watched television. The first day, he was entertained and educated by the Weather Channel. He learned about hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, and other exciting natural disasters. Time passed much more quickly. When Denny returned, he was surprised at how much Enzo appeared to enjoy watching the TV screen. So he decided from that day forward to leave the television on for Enzo, to entertain him while the rest of the family was gone. Enzo’s favorite station was the Speed Channel, which only showed car racing.

One day, Denny came home with a photograph that made Eve cry. Enzo was not sure why she did this. He looked at the picture, but it had little effect on him. He did not realize it was a photo of their new house. Shortly afterward, everything, including Enzo’s bed, was packed and moved to the new place. When things were set, Denny took Enzo into the new backyard, where they played one of Enzo’s favorite games, fetch. After they put Zoe to bed that first night in their new home, Enzo watched as Denny and Eve rolled around naked, clutching one another, in each of the house’s rooms.

Another incident in Enzo’s life was less exciting. One day much later, when Eve bent down to lower Enzo’s food dish to the floor, Enzo sniffed Eve’s ear. He smelled something he did not like. The smell reminded him of something rotten, and it appeared to be growing inside Eve’s head. He wished he had a tongue that allowed him to form words because he regretted that he was unable to warn her. Denny would eventually take Eve to see a doctor, and expensive and awkward machines would finally diagnose the problem. But that would not happen for a long time. People thought those machines were sophisticated, but Enzo knew that if he had the gift of human language, he could have told them much sooner than the machines discovered it.

On another night, they watched a tape of one of Denny’s races. Denny explained to Eve and Enzo how he was able to drive his car through the rain much better than some of the other drivers. He anticipated how the car was going to react rather than just waiting for it to spin out. He added that a famous driver once said that what a person sees is what he or she had created. In other words, the world is a manifestation of thought. Enzo reflected about this. It made him realize that his relationship with Eve was not as close as it could be. Enzo had been a bit standoffish with her. To change this, he decided to spend more time with her. Instead of watching television with Denny, he went to the kitchen to watch Eve cook. From that point on, he began to feel closer to her and over time realized that Eve seemed to feel the same.

Two years later, Enzo was with Eve when she became violently ill. She told Enzo that she felt like someone was trying to crush her head. She packed a suitcase quickly and left, taking Zoe with her. Denny was not at home, so Enzo was left in the empty house, worried because he was unable to save Eve.

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Chapters 4-6 Summary


Chapters 10-12 Summary