|Of course Enzo’s best friend, Denny, could outrace Senna if he didn’t have his little girl, Zoe, and a job in Seattle and a dying dog. In fact, Denny has superior racing ability, and Enzo, a racer himself, recognizes that quality in another. But Enzo realizes that Denny’s auto-racing dreams may be permanently on hold because of the sadness that has entered his life.
Still, Enzo studies the tapes and understands that life, like racing, involves balance, anticipation and patience.
A student of mankind and a philosopher (even though he is, in fact, the dying dog referred to earlier) Enzo has always known more than he has been able to communicate.
He can recognize chemical releases which tell him that people are scared or anxious. He knows that Denny’s wife, Eve, is dying because he can smell it, but he has promised Eve (although she, being merely human, is unaware of his vow) to protect Zoe, and that’s what he does.
Later, when literature’s most self-serving (with a touch of evil thrown in) in-laws set out to destroy Denny, Enzo gladly serves as the bridge between him and Zoe at the same time that he is experiencing his own doggy problems. He knows that, “We create our own destiny. Be it through intention or ignorance our successes and our failures have been brought on by none other than ourselves.” And he does whatever he can to make sure that Denny envisions success.
Throughout the novel is the unfolding metaphor of auto racing. A driver’s racing skills are also his life skills.
Even though Denny’s balance is disrupted and his patience is wearing thin, anticipation gives him spirit and Enzo does his part to encourage both Denny and Zoe.
Early in the novel, Enzo says, “I am a racer at heart and a racer will never let something that happened before affect what is happening now.” Denny learns that lesson well.
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