Book Club: The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

I don’t remember who exactly told me to read The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein (I think it was my aunt), but I will be forever grateful to that person because of how powerful this book is.  I read this book on my own, outside of book club, which was probably for the better.  I’m crying just writing this post and thinking about the book.

The Art of Racing in the Rain is written from Enzo, the dog’s, perspective.  The book begins at the end of his life and tells the tale of his life.  Enzo’s owner is a race car driver who picks him out from a litter on a farm.  The chapters alternate between Enzo’s life (life with his owner, the introduction of first a wife and then a daughter, disagreeable in-laws, family illness, and a number of other unfortunate incidences) and racing metaphors.  The title is the underlying metaphor of the entire book – how you handle the lemons life throws at you.  Do you turn those lemons into lemonade or throw them away because they are too bitter?  Enzo’s father teaches him how to navigate the curves on the wet and slippery roadway, wonderful lessons for us, the readers, as well.

One of my favorite lines from the book, which was repeated frequently throughout, is “The car goes where your eyes go.”  Where do you want your life to go?

This book is a must-read.  No matter what I write here, I cannot do the book justice.  It is a quick read; I read the first 12 chapters on a flight from New York to Dallas and finished it on the flight home.  Well, almost finished it.  I was 10 pages from the end when I had to put the book away as I was bawling instead of sniffling and I didn’t want the woman sitting next to me thinking there was something wrong.  I finished the book the next morning on the couch snuggling with Finn so she could lick my tears away.  Don’t you just love that dogs can sense when you’re upset and put a smile on your face?

My overall review: READ IT!!!!  And be sure to keep a box of tissues handy.

Tell me, dear readers, have you read The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein?  What did you think of it?  Were you sobbing like I was from page one?

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