22 February 2010

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen


Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
(Kindle Edition)
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.

If someone hadn't recommended Water for Elephants to me I probably wouldn't have read it, I was hesitant at first (I’m not a fan of the circus)… I loved this book, another one I couldn’t put down.  I read it while exercising, while eating, while folding laundry (thank goodness for larger font size on my Kindle) and while I should have been practicing piano!  In the prologue we discover a secret which Jacob has kept for seventy years, then the story begins alternating between 1931 and the modern day with an elderly Jacob (ninety or ninety-three… he can’t remember).  Water for Elephants is brilliantly written, the characters are well developed and easy to love (or hate as the case may be).  I thought it was a delightful story and absolutely loved the ending!

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