Reading Matters. In that post I stated definitively that I had declined to read The Art Of Racing In The Rain, this month's book for my book club. My refusal was on the grounds that I knew it was going to be sad, and leave me crying in the rain. Or, really, since I'm in New Mexico, in the brilliant sunshine. However, in a comment to that post, Kathy stated just as definitively "I loved The Art of Racing in the Rain. Crying or not, I loved it." The woman who suggested it for the club had also loved it.
So, on Tuesday afternoon I settled into the old wicker rocker on the back porch and devoted myself to reading Enzo's story. Enzo is a dog. And so, just as I thought, the book is as sad as any book narrated by a dog is bound to be. It was also, to my huge surprise, an extremely spiritual and uplifting story. The track, and racing on it, serves as a terrific metaphor for life and how to live it - and Enzo has a better, clearer, and more compassionate outlook on life than most who are already living it as humans. I managed to read the entire book that afternoon before our club meeting and participate in the discussion. But I delayed the last few pages until I was safely in the shelter of my own home, and with my own sweetie to comfort me. All dog books end with the dog's death, and this one is no exception. But it might be one of the most beautiful, hopeful, wonderful literary deaths I've ever read. I can only hope my own could come any where close to Enzo's.
If you're looking for something utterly engaging and delightful to fill some empty hours, on a plane, a beach, a train, you couldn't do better than to pass those hours with Enzo and Dennie, their family and friends. Just be sure to have a large clean handkerchief close by as you approach the end of the story. Also it might be good if it was your own copy. I found myself longing to underline or highlight often. But the library frowns on their patrons taking such action.