Dec 16, 2009

Water for Elephants

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

My rating: 5 stars

Quick recap: As a young man, Jacob Jankowski was tossed by fate onto a rickety train that was home to the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth. It was the early part of the great Depression, and for Jacob, now ninety, the circus world he remembers was both his salvation and a living hell. A veterinary student just shy of a degree, he was put in charge of caring for the circus menagerie. It was there that he met Marlena, the beautiful equestrian star married to August, the charismatic but twisted animal trainer. And he met Rosie, an untrainable elephant who was the great gray hope for this third-rate traveling show. The bond that grew among this unlikely trio was one of love and trust, and, ultimately, it was their only hope for survival. (From

Oh. My. Gosh. I am officially in love with this book. I was hooked from the first paragraph. Two of my favorite things about this book: the main character is a man (so it's a different perspective than I'm used to), and it doesn't even seem like it goes back and forth between Jacob being older and younger, because it is so beautifully written.

I read the whole book in less than a day. This book made me laugh, gasp, and cry. It gave great insight and perspective into life after your spouse is gone, nursing homes, and the ultimate heartbreak of growing old: loneliness.

I absolutely loved it. I cannot recommend it enough. Go read it. Right. Now.

(Photo: ffffound)


Muznah said...

I haven't read this one but after reading your review I think I will pick up a copy. Thanks :)

Nicole said...

I loved this book as well. It wasn't even on my TBR list because I was leary of reading a "circus" book. But it was so much more than that! This book should be on everyone's list!

The Many Thoughts of a Reader said...

this is in my pile to read.. it's the last book my grandma gave me.. with the warning.. "ughh i couldn't read this, but maybe you'd like it. :P

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

I also really enjoyed this book. I read it maybe 2 years ago? Such a fast read!

Jenny (from 8th grade French) :) la la la said...

Becky, because of you I'm going to be listening to this book tomorrow in audio book form on a long car trip! Thank you!

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