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Written by Laura Nowell
The narrator of the story and a loyal, loving and intelligent dog. He is a philosopher, has a human-like soul, and has a strong desire to one day be reincarnated as a human. The development of his near-human sophisticated thought process began the day his owner Denny left the television on, and since that day he watches educational programs to expand his knowledge while Denny is at work. His frustration towards his body and its limitations grew with his increasing intelligence, and he expresses feeling trapped in his dog body. Enzo complains about his lack of thumbs and subpar eyesight many times throughout the story, and explains how dogs would be far more useful if they had functioning thumbs. His frustrations with his dog form and some human logic provide a sense of light humor throughout the novel.
Enzo’s owner and best friend. He works as an auto mechanic at a high-end dealership, but his true passion is with the sport of racecar driving. This passion becomes evident later in the story and is even what causes him to receive harsh criticism from his in-laws given the amount of time the sport takes him away from his family. Denny starts off as a young bachelor in Seattle and morphs into a loving husband and devoted father, but it is very clear that he and Enzo have a unique bond.
Denny’s girlfriend who eventually becomes his wife and mother of his daughter, Zoe. Eve is not welcomed by Enzo right away, but once she becomes pregnant with Zoe and names Enzo as her protector does she earn his trust and acceptance. She falls ill in the middle of the story, and although Enzo knows of her terminal illness, Eve is unaware of her condition and she becomes an unhappy, short-tempered, and anxious person. This change in personality causes a strain on not only her marriage with Denny, but on all other personal relationships in her life as well, including the one with her own daughter. As she finally accepts her diagnosis and fate, she becomes at peace and returns to the Eve introduced in the beginning of the story.
Denny and Eve’s daughter. Zoe is very young throughout most the story, so she isn’t heard from too much besides small excerpts here and there. Enzo notices that she begins to feel lonely when she wasn’t living with Denny, and this exposes the close relationship Denny and Zoe were able to build, even amidst the difficulty of the legal proceedings. When she is older, Zoe is the one who introduces human Enzo to Denny when they are living in Italy.
A 15-year-old girl who has a crush on Denny and attempts sexual advances towards him when he was in a vulnerable state. She later accuses Denny of rape and causes him to be arrested and almost lose custody of his daughter. After being confronted by Denny and his sympathetic words, Annika has a change of heart and withdraws her original claim of rape against him when put on the stand the first day of trial.
Denny’s best friend other than Enzo. Mike provides support and friendship during Denny’s difficult times of the custody battle and criminal charges.
Owner of the garage where Denny works.
Maxwell & Trish
Eve’s parents, and known as “The Twins” by Enzo due to their similarity in clothing. They disapprove of Eve’s marriage to Denny, and attempted to obtain custody of Zoe after Eve’s death. Their disapproval stems from Eve being the primary bread winner over Denny, and Denny’s job requiring him to spend so much time away from Eve and Zoe.
Denny’s first lawyer he hired during the custody battle for Zoe. He is replaced after he loses hope in the results of the custody battle and suggests that Denny settle and give up custody to Zoe’s grandparents.
Denny’s replacement lawyer. He doesn’t have as much enthusiasm and vigor as Mark, but ends up helping Denny win custody of Zoe.
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The Art of Racing in the Rain Questions and Answers
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Enzo is a golden Labrador Retriever. He is also the protagonist and narrator of the novel. Enzo is old and contemplating the end of his life. He has strong emotional connections to the people in his life and is a doggy philosopher at heart.