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The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

Book review by Rick Davis

True confession time! This book came at a time in my life when I was thinking of closing down my business and, if I am brutally honest, allowing myself to enjoy an extensive self-pity party. The Art of Racing in the Rain inspired me out of the doldrums!

Meet Enzo, dog and story teller. He is an avid Formula I fan and readily admits that his second favorite documentary is the one that promises he will return in his next life as a man. His favorite is the replay of the 1993 Donington Grand Prix during which Aryton Senna went from 5th to 1st in one lap while racing in the rain – Video Highlights of the Senna Victory.

Enzo can attribute everything he’s learned about Formula I to the times he spends with his owner, Denny, watching replays of races. Denny is an everyday man with uncommon courage and, as you would expect from a man that controls an engine on wheels hurtling down a road at 193 mph, he has much to teach about perseverance in the face of adversity.

Denny is at a crossroads in his life. The loss of his wife has devastated him and he will endure the next stage of his journey as a single parent that dotes over his adorable daughter, Zoe. The challenges of raising a child as a single parent are difficult enough. But as the story unfolds, the metaphorical rain becomes oppressive and pushes our hero to the breaking point. Unscrupulous in-laws wreak havoc on our hero’s life. The pressure will make you genuinely angry and appalled by the selfishness that we so often see in life. It is a story of triumph against daunting obstacles.

I recommend this book as an inspirational guide and a story that will capture your imagination. I read Enzo’s tale during a very difficult time and recommend to anyone facing adversity in life or career. Things often go wrong for people and the measure of success is not how we respond in easy times. Heroes are not made when life is easy. Heroes are made when life throws obstacles in your path.

This book is particularly wonderful if you do not consider yourself a big reader and want to find something easy, fun, and meaningful to enjoy. Read The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein to prepare yourself for life challenges. If you want to cry, laugh, and eventually experience the pleasure of triumph over adversity, this is the book for you.

Rick Davis

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