‘The Art of Racing in the Rain’ surpasses expectations

The Art of Racing in the Rain surpasses expectations

Caroline Spath, Copy Editor

The Patriot has reviewed several of the summer reading options for this year.  A student committee has been formed to allow for student opinion in choosing the summer reading book for 2012.  To read more about changes to the summer reading program, click here.

Think John Grogan’s novel “Marley and Me,” but better.

Garth Stein’s beautifully written and touching novel, “The Art of Racing in the Rain,” far surpassed my expectations.  While reading, I couldn’t help but compare the novel to Grogan’s “Marley and Me” because of the many similarities. However, as much as I enjoyed Grogan’s #1 New York Times bestseller, “The Art of Racing in the Rain” far surpassed this previous favorite of mine.

The story chronicles the journey of a family through the thoughts of Enzo, the family dog.  Enzo, however, is different from other dogs because of his nearly-human soul and his curiosity, especially towards learning.  Enzo’s passion for learning comes from his master, Denny, an up-and-coming race car driver. Similarly, his passion for life comes from his whole family, which includes Denny, his wife Eve, and their daughter, Zoe.

The journey begins with Enzo reminiscing on the past as he remembers it.  The memories stretch from his puppyhood, when Denny brought him home, to Denny’s marriage to Eve, to the couple having their first and only child, Zoe.

Enzo proves to be the perfect narrator with all his charm and wit. He knows how to deliver light-hearted humor when needed, but also how to be serious during appropriate times, which creates a flawless balance between the different scenes throughout the novel.  Enzo and his whole family are relatable, which makes their story all the more touching and realistic.

As the reader becomes delighted with the tight-knit family bonds between Enzo, Denny, Eve and Zoe, various forces start trying to break them apart, but the challenges that occur help add to the sentimentality shown in this novel.

The relationships between the characters are relatable and absorbing, and this helps captivate readers. You can’t help but love them and root for everything to work in their favor.

Even considering all of the challenges this family faces, the ending of this novel is oh-so- very-satisfying.

The read is easy and enjoyable, and the first few pages of Stein’s novel grab your attention as well as your heart with its lovely characters and surprisingly wonderful heart-wrenching plot.

“The Art of Racing in the Rain” is a story of the power of family, love, loyalty and hope, and is sure to touch the hearts of all that read its uplifting story.

Caroline Spath is a Copy Editor for The Patriot and jcpatriot.com