The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
I am still reeling from the emotional effects of this book. So beautifully told from the perspective of a dog, this story is about a race car driver named Denney, who is married and has a little girl. His wife develops a brain tumor and her parents sort of take over her care and the care of their daughter. On the very day that the wife dies, the parents propose that they gain custody of the daughter, and so begins a Denney’s heroic battle to gain custody of his daughter. The battle becomes unbelievably ugly and the reader is sucked in and kept breathless over the course of the fight.
The beauty of this book is in the voice of the dog. I am sure I am not the only one who has seen dogs appear to understand everything that is going on and wonder if they really do. The voice of Enzo, this particular dog, gives a warmth and a humor to the story that really engages the reader. He is extremely philosophical and wise and has awareness of things beyond what people are able to sense — and it feels entirely plausible when you are reading it!
This is another book that after finishing, I could not rush into the next book because I really just wanted to sit with the characters in my mind for a day or two. I love when a book does that!