The Art of Racing in the Rain


Garth Stein

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The Art of Racing in the Rain: Chapter 55 Summary & Analysis

Thanks to Mike's prodding questions, Enzo learns the story of Denny's parents over the next few days. His mother began going blind when Denny was a child, and he cared for her until he left home after high school. His father told him that if he didn't stay to help, Denny shouldn't bother keeping in touch. Denny called every Christmas until his mother finally answered but didn't speak, and after years, she finally asked Denny how he was doing.
Here we learn the roots of Denny's sense of familial responsibility. Throughout his life, he's been a caregiver to various family members, first his mother and then his wife. Again, the fact that Denny reconnected with his parents provides a degree of hope for the rest of the storylines, especially given the money they gave Denny.
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Denny's parents hadn't paid for the testing program in France or contributed to his sponsorship for the touring car season. Denny had paid for those with a home equity loan and a second mortgage. Denny continued to end up on the phone with his mother, begging her for help so he could keep Zoë. Finally, she responded that she'd help if she could meet Zoë. As Denny finishes his story, Mike comments on how sad the story is, and Denny counters that he believes it has a happy ending.
Denny fabricated the story that his parents paid for these experiences in order to create the sense for those around him that his parents were involved and cared about him. This further complicates the idea of family and familial love by questioning the relationship between the outward performance of familial love versus the reality of the situation.
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