The Art of Racing in the Rain

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Eve Character Analysis

Denny's wife and Zoë's mother, and daughter to Maxwell and Trish. Eve is a very organized and meticulous person who works in a clothing store in Seattle, and she is the family's primary breadwinner prior to her hospitalization. Enzo can smell that Eve has brain cancer long before she begins experiencing symptoms, and even after the symptoms begin, she refuses to see a doctor. Off and on for months, she experiences nausea, migraines, and mood swings that affect her judgment and ability to function. The cancer is finally discovered when she is taken to the ER after a concussion. For her first night out of the hospital, she fears death immensely and asks Enzo to protect her. Later, on the eve of her death, Enzo says that she was living as though she stole every day from death.

Eve Quotes in The Art of Racing in the Rain

The The Art of Racing in the Rain quotes below are all either spoken by Eve or refer to Eve. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
 What It Means to Be Human  Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the HarperCollins edition of The Art of Racing in the Rain published in 2009.
Chapter 6 Quotes

And while I greatly resented the attention Eve lavished on her unborn baby, in retrospect, I realize I had never given her a reason to lavish that same attention on me.

Related Characters: Enzo (speaker), Eve, Zoë
Page Number: 23
Explanation and Analysis:

Eve and Denny are newly married and Eve has recently become pregnant. Despite a general dislike of the change that Eve brings to his life, Enzo finds himself unable to truly be angry at Eve because he knows she's pregnant, and he begins to pick apart the nuances of his relationship to her in this thought. When Eve joins Denny and Enzo's family, she essentially comes between them rather than simply joining them. Enzo perceives her as a threat and as competition for Denny's attention, and as such, is never particularly warm towards her. This in turn means that Eve is never very warm or affectionate with Enzo, either. However, when Enzo sees her love something else so fully as she loves Zoë before her birth, Enzo realizes the reason for their generally poor relationship. Realizing that the state of their relationship is mostly, if not fully his own responsibility sets Enzo up to later begin to take more responsibility and attempt to change their relationship for the better.

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Chapter 7 Quotes

What Eve said was not out of line, as most dogs cannot help themselves... but that sort of thing doesn't apply to me.

Related Characters: Enzo (speaker), Denny, Eve, Zoë
Page Number: 36
Explanation and Analysis:

Enzo is describing how he plays chase games with toddler Zoë, which Eve doesn't like because she believes Enzo will bite Zoë. Enzo's response is indicative of his belief that he's more human-like than other dogs, in that what he says is a normal canine instinct simply doesn't apply to him. This idea echoes throughout the novel as Enzo moves freely and fluidly between acting in what he describes as more dog-like or more human-like ways. Essentially, his ability to compartmentalize this instinct, recognize it, and then choose to not follow it is what allows him to behave and think in a more human manner.

But I hadn't a facile tongue. So all I could do was watch and feel empty inside; Eve had assigned me to protect Zoë no matter what, but no one had been assigned to protect Eve. And there was nothing I could do to help her.

Related Characters: Enzo (speaker), Eve, Zoë
Page Number: 37
Explanation and Analysis:

Enzo has just told the reader that he didn't play rough with Zoë as to not worry Eve unnecessarily, because Enzo smells that there's something wrong in Eve's head. The fact that the reader and Enzo know this so early, well before Eve even begins experiencing symptoms of illness, creates a sense of dramatic irony. This leads the reader to begin looking for clues as to what exactly is going on with Eve, and how and when Eve's illness is going to manifest.

Enzo's preoccupation with communication and the physical characteristics of humans is also brought into play here. His lack of "a facile tongue" means that he's unable to do anything to help or warn them of what's to come. However, this leads to more questions about what it means to be human versus what it means to be a dog. While Enzo never voices the hypothetical situation himself, the reader is forced to consider the fact that if Enzo were human, even though he would've had the physical traits that would allow him to voice his concerns, he in theory also wouldn't have a way to know that Eve was ill.

Chapter 8 Quotes

I had always wanted to love Eve as Denny loved her, but I never had because I was afraid. She was my rain. She was my unpredictable element. She was my fear. But a racer should not be afraid of rain; a racer should embrace the rain.

Related Characters: Enzo (speaker), Denny, Eve
Related Symbols: Rain
Page Number: 44
Explanation and Analysis:

After first hearing Denny's explanation of how one must drive in the rain and the phrase "that which you manifest is before you," Enzo immediately applies what he's learned to his own life. He turns first to his rocky relationship with Eve, seeing that it is his own actions and his own fear of the change brought about by Eve that created their less-than-perfect relationship. This point of the novel, then, becomes the point at which Enzo decides to do what he can to change his relationship with Eve for the better.

Further, Enzo's thoughts crystallize how rain functions throughout the novel. Rain becomes a symbol for strife and challenge and later often appears during times of struggle.

Chapter 28 Quotes

I needed to feel myself, understand myself and this horrible world we are all trapped in, where bugs and tumors and viruses worm their way into our brains and lay their putrid eggs that hatch and eat us alive from the inside out.

Related Characters: Enzo (speaker), Eve
Page Number: 164
Explanation and Analysis:

Denny and Enzo have just learned of Eve's death and Enzo, overcome with grief and emotion, is running wild through the woods. As he runs, he's looking for some way to understand and make sense of Eve's death. He sees the world as a trap or as a prison, and turns inside himself to try to find a way out. This is also one place where Enzo's characterization of disease as a true living thing is most apparent. Illness and death are not just abstract ideas or actions; they're egg-laying bugs, tumors, and viruses. By turning illness and death into concrete entities, Enzo is better able to understand how they work and how to avoid death. We also see how in this time of heightened emotion, Enzo returns fully to being a dog and doesn't try to be human. In order to obtain some sense of understanding, he must be what he truly is.

Chapter 37 Quotes

I thought of Eve and how quickly she embraced her death once the people around her agreed to it; I considered the foretelling of my own end, which was to be full of suffering and pain, as death is believed to be by most of the world, and I tried to look away.

Related Characters: Enzo (speaker), Eve
Page Number: 218
Explanation and Analysis:

Enzo has just received his diagnosis of hip dysplasia and is considering how he will handle his diagnosis. In this moment, it becomes very clear how Enzo uses his belief of destiny and "manifesting" to make sense of what's happening around him. He sees that the people around Eve essentially manifested her death, and she had no choice but to follow that belief and die as expected. Seeing this and understanding how it happened, Enzo applies what he learned watching it play out with Eve and then vows to do the exact opposite. He's pitting the manifesting of his vet and of Denny that he's going to die a painful death against his own manifesting that he can try to avoid that at all costs.

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Eve Character Timeline in The Art of Racing in the Rain

The timeline below shows where the character Eve appears in The Art of Racing in the Rain. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
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...because he has responsibilities: his daughter, Zoë, and Enzo, and until she died, his wife, Eve. Denny lives in Seattle and has a job, but sometimes he goes away and comes... (full context)
Chapter 4
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...Enzo formed a deep bond. Enzo was surprised, then, when Denny fell in love with Eve as fast as he did. (full context)
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Enzo watches Eve and Denny have sex for the first time, saying that Eve said "the field is... (full context)
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Enzo says that he tried to act nonchalant because he knew how much Denny loved Eve, but he wasn't embracing of her presence. In turn, Eve was less embracing of Enzo.... (full context)
Chapter 6
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At first, Enzo resents how Eve changes his and Denny's lives, particularly the attention Denny pays to her body. She is... (full context)
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Not long after Eve moves in with Denny and Enzo, she and Denny are married in a small ceremony... (full context)
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After the family returns from the wedding, Enzo notices that Eve is much bolder in her moving and replacing of household things. Enzo, while unhappy with... (full context)
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Enzo resents the attention Eve pays to the unborn baby, but in retrospect, he realizes that he never gave her... (full context)
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Enzo describes how Eve interacts with the baby before it is born, touching it through her skin, dancing to... (full context)
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...opportunity the same year he became a father changes depending on who's doing the interpreting. Eve is put off by the unfortunate timing, while Denny believes he's getting everything he could... (full context)
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...timing is wrong according to Enzo. On race day, a week before she is due, Eve feels contractions and calls her midwives. They assume Denny is driving and winning as Eve... (full context)
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Eve puts a hand down and lets it dangle. Enzo doesn't want to assume she is... (full context)
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...day, unhappy. His mood changes when he holds the baby, whom they name Zoë after Eve's grandmother. Denny asks Enzo if he sees his little angel, to which Enzo mentally replies... (full context)
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Eve's parents, Trish and Maxwell, had been in the apartment since Zoë's birth to care for... (full context)
Chapter 7
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After Eve became pregnant, Denny took a job behind the counter at a fancy auto shop that... (full context)
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Several months after Zoë is born, Eve goes back to work. Denny offers to stay home and care for Zoë but Eve... (full context)
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Denny asks Enzo what he's watching, as though he's asking Eve or Zoë. Eve and Zoë are in the kitchen making dinner, however, while Enzo is... (full context)
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...loses count of the weeks and is surprised when Zoë's second birthday arrives. Denny and Eve throw a party at their apartment, and Zoë calls Enzo her big brother. The children... (full context)
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...Zoë a photo that she shows little interest in, but when he shows it to Eve, she starts to cry. They laugh and cry, and Denny shows Enzo the photo. It's... (full context)
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Every day when Denny comes home from work, he greets Eve and Zoë and then takes... (full context)
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Partially, Enzo doesn't want to give Eve anything to worry about because he can tell she’s sick. He can smell a bad,... (full context)
Chapter 8
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...begins, Denny starts passing other cars that aren't using rain tires and are therefore struggling. Eve, standing in the doorway watching, asks why Denny can take turns so fast. Denny replies... (full context)
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Denny softly says, "that which you manifest is before you." Noting Eve's confusion at the phrase, Denny describes learning to drive in the rain when he was... (full context)
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...that if he makes the car do something, he can predict what will happen next. Eve asks if that means spinning the car before the car spins itself, and Denny replies... (full context)
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...on success or failure through their own intention or ignorance. Enzo considers his relationship with Eve, thinking that his resentment of her is mirrored by her aloof nature with him, and... (full context)
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Eve is self-conscious about Enzo's presence, but Enzo believes she simply doesn't understand his intentions. As... (full context)
Chapter 9
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It then, suddenly, became the worst of times. Eve wakes up early on the morning of the race in so much pain that she... (full context)
Chapter 11
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...narrative, Enzo takes stock of his situation, locked in the house alone. He thinks that Eve is ill and it's affecting her judgment, and Denny will be home after two nights.... (full context)
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...surprised to see the zebra, since it's one of Zoë's favorites, but he reasons that Eve was in so much pain she overlooked it when she was packing. (full context)
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...steps right onto the squishy doormat. Surprised, he hops off the mat and calls for Eve, but Enzo is the only one home. Denny picks up the phone, and after a... (full context)
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Hearing crying, Enzo and Eve look over and see Zoë weeping in the hallway and Eve rushes to comfort her.... (full context)
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...strikes Enzo on the head, yelling "bad dog!" When he moves to hit Enzo again, Eve protects Enzo. Denny stops, and Enzo knows that he won't hit Eve. Enzo says Denny... (full context)
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Denny says he can't believe Eve left Enzo for days, even if she did have a virus that made her unable... (full context)
Chapter 12
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Enzo describes Eve's condition as elusive and unpredictable: one day headaches, the next nausea, another dizziness and anger,... (full context)
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Denny begs Eve to see a doctor and get medication, but she refuses. Denny doesn't understand, as Eve... (full context)
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...so he can take over the running of the household, with the intent of relieving Eve of any burden or stress. This does not, however, allow him to continue to engage... (full context)
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Enzo says that Denny simply delegated his love-giving of Eve to Enzo. When Eve experienced episodes, Denny would take Zoë to movies or to the... (full context)
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Through the winter, Eve loses weight and becomes drawn and pale. Despite Denny's concern, Eve continues to refuse to... (full context)
Chapter 13
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...love going after bags of groceries and often try to steal items when Denny and Eve make multiple trips and leave bags on the porch. On this occasion, Eve brought home... (full context)
Chapter 14
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...March day that Denny comes downstairs with his track bag packed and his special helmet. Eve and Zoë seem to know what's going on, but Denny hasn't told Enzo. Enzo is... (full context)
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Denny asks Enzo to look over the girls, hugs Zoë, and kisses Eve. As he turns away, Eve grabs him and starts to cry, imploring him to please... (full context)
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The first two races go well for Zoë, Eve, and Enzo, but poorly for Denny, who finishes 24th and 30th. Denny is frustrated, saying... (full context)
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Enzo hears Eve stand and gather plates and tell Zoë to eat her nuggets. Zoë declares that she's... (full context)
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Bursting into the kitchen, Eve grabs the hot dog package from the freezer and as she tries to cut it... (full context)
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...Zoë to the living room where she turns on a kids' show. When Denny and Eve appear a few minutes later, they sit down with Zoë and watch. When the show... (full context)
Chapter 15
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The following weekend when Denny is away racing, Eve, Zoë, and Enzo go to stay with Trish and Maxwell. Eve's hand is bandaged, which... (full context)
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As soon as they arrive, Trish and Maxwell start ragging on Denny to Eve. They stand in the kitchen drinking, and Maxwell asks Eve what she's going to do,... (full context)
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Maxwell opens a jar of his favorite hot peppers, and Trish comments on how frail Eve is. Maxwell shakes his head and wonders where they went wrong with Eve. After a... (full context)
Chapter 16
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Eve has recovered from her episodes with no explanation, although her hand injury continues to give... (full context)
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...and the damage done to his car means he finishes “DFL,” or dead fucking last. Eve doesn't think it's fair, since it was the other driver's fault, but Denny says it... (full context)
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One day Denny and Eve sit on the porch while Enzo soaks up the sun and Zoë plays in the... (full context)
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Eve says she can't go to the track now that she's feeling good, as she's afraid... (full context)
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Denny suggests they use a turkey baster, and Eve starts laughing uncontrollably. He continues, saying he could leave a cupful of babies in the... (full context)
Chapter 17
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...arrive at the Slippery Slabs, a series of flat slick rocks in the creek. Denny, Eve, and Zoë strip to their swimsuits, and since Zoë is old enough to navigate parts... (full context)
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Then, Eve dips Zoë into the river and rather than splashing, Zoë pulls her feet out of... (full context)
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On the drive Eve keeps saying she’s okay, but she obviously isn't. Her words slur and she keeps nodding... (full context)
Chapter 19
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...Denny says the doctors might just go in and get the “mass” because it's causing Eve's problems whether it's malignant or not. Mike jokes that maybe his wife has a tumor,... (full context)
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Denny looks up at Mike and says this is why Eve didn't want to go to the hospital. Mike doesn't understand but agrees. He asks about... (full context)
Chapter 20
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...get to go to the hospital to hear what the doctors have to say about Eve. Enzo laments this fact, saying that nothing was expected of him except to do his... (full context)
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Eve stays in the hospital for weeks. Denny cares for Enzo and Zoë, and visits Eve... (full context)
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...and Trish offer to take Zoë for a weekend to give Denny a break, and Eve supports the idea. Denny is hesitant but agrees. He and Enzo do everything they used... (full context)
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...dinner, Denny stands up, takes Enzo outside, and then says he has to go see Eve, telling Enzo to stay. Enzo lies down in his bed, and Denny leaves. Several hours... (full context)
Chapter 22
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...a face before climbing onto the bus, and Enzo swears for a moment that she's Eve. As the bus pulls away, another father asks Denny if it's his first. Denny says... (full context)
Chapter 23
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..."it" is is left unsaid. In the car on the way home, Zoë asks when Eve is coming home, and Denny replies that she's going to stay with Trish and Maxwell... (full context)
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Denny calls from the back door that Eve is here, and Zoë and Enzo come inside. Trish and an unknown man help a... (full context)
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As dinnertime rolls around, the mood lifts. Eve showers and shows everyone her scars, and, wearing her own dress rather than the hospital... (full context)
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...repeating "until" revealed everything about the situation. Denny is irritated and accuses Trish of condemning Eve before they even know, and Trish begins to sob. Maxwell says the doctor said six... (full context)
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After dinner, Denny takes Zoë outside to talk and tells her that Eve would like it if she stayed with her. Zoë is concerned about being able to... (full context)
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Later that night, Enzo finds Denny sitting with Eve, saying that he wants to stay too. Eve says no, and Denny asks what he's... (full context)
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Everyone goes to sleep except for the nurse, who soon wakes Enzo and leads him to... (full context)
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Hours later, Eve appears and calls Enzo back into the living room. She tells him she needs him... (full context)
Chapter 24
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For the first few weeks, Denny visits Eve and Zoë nightly, but by Thanksgiving, he only visits twice per week. Denny gives Enzo... (full context)
Chapter 25
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...Enzo take a trip to a cabin in north-central Washington owned by a relative of Eve's. Eve and her parents don't attend, but a variety of other cousins and relatives are... (full context)
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...that maybe he needed to connect on some level with someone who reminded him of Eve and the passion they shared. (full context)
Chapter 26
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As spring approaches, life proceeds as usual. Eve continues the process of dying while she and Zoë remain with Trish and Maxwell, but... (full context)
Chapter 27
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...the first of May, Denny and Enzo are invited to Trish and Maxwell's for dinner. Eve is absent, and Enzo finds it awkward, so he wanders into Zoë's room and finds... (full context)
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Returning to the living room, Enzo waits with Denny until Eve comes out of the bathroom, assisted by a nurse. Eve is radiant, dressed in a... (full context)
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Eve sits on the sofa while Denny gets Zoë ready for bed. Eve calls Enzo to... (full context)
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Enzo says he doesn't know everything, but he knew that Eve was right about the doctors and the course of her illness, and that once she... (full context)
Chapter 28
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The next morning, Denny and Enzo, unaware of Eve's passing, head to a dog park to play fetch. As Denny and Enzo play, Denny... (full context)
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...animal again, and he notes that trying to live to human standards did nothing for Eve. After he finishes, he falls asleep in the bushes. Denny finds Enzo when he wakes,... (full context)
Chapter 29
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...Zoë come out of the house too. Denny goes inside alone to say goodbye to Eve. Enzo feels as though he has to do something, and seeing a tennis ball, drops... (full context)
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...the experience and finances to properly raise Zoë, but Denny again refuses. Trish states that Eve wanted them to have custody, and Denny says she never told him that. Sighing, Maxwell... (full context)
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...sick if Denny is going to keep her from the doctors like he did with Eve. Denny retorts that Eve refused to see a doctor, and that nobody could make Eve... (full context)
Chapter 31
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...then asks for the paperwork. He looks over the papers as Denny desperately says that Eve couldn't have possibly meant that she wanted Trish and Maxwell to have custody of Zoë.... (full context)
Chapter 35
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...and emotions, and restricting information is foolish. Enzo says that Denny's hands shook often after Eve's death, and it was unsettling to them both. (full context)
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...satisfied that Denny got his point. Denny is watching an old home video of himself, Eve, Zoë, and Enzo playing on the beach when Zoë was a toddler. Enzo remarks that... (full context)
Chapter 36
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...Seattle is known for, since a light rain amplifies scents and brings odors to life. Eve has only been dead a few days, but since she died Enzo and Denny have... (full context)
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...three men break off and walk to meet them. They are Maxwell and two of Eve's brothers, and Maxwell tells Denny he's not welcome. Denny replies calmly that Eve is his... (full context)
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One of Eve's brothers calls Denny a child molester, and Denny doesn't budge. Zoë reaches them and jumps... (full context)
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...They stay and watch workers dismantle the tent, and finally watch workers shovel dirt on Eve's grave. When the workers leave, Denny and Enzo walk down the hill and cry at... (full context)
Chapter 37
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...increased, although he tried to hide the problem. He wonders that maybe he's more like Eve than he's admitted, since he distrusts the medical world and behaved in such a way... (full context)
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Enzo continues and says that he doesn't know why Eve distrusted medicine, but his own distrust stems from an event that took place when he... (full context)
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...the car goes where the eyes go. Enzo says that he saw what happened with Eve, that she was unable to escape when those around her agreed that she would die.... (full context)
Chapter 51
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...without supervision. Annika is silent, listening. Finally, Denny says that the first time he saw Eve, he couldn't breathe or function. He tells Annika that someday, she'll find a partner that... (full context)