“Water for Elephants” – Sara Gruen

I really loved this book. It was fascinating, it was dark, it was edgy…it made me squirm. All the makings of a delicious read. “Water for Elephants” was written by Sara Gruen and takes us back to the golden days of circus experiences, where the circus arrived on a train and the Ringling Brothers ruled the scene.

Our main character, Jacob Jankowski, begins the story in his final days of veterinary school when he learns that both his parents have been killed in a car accident. As this happens in the first few pages of the book, I do not feel guilty revealing this to you. Jacob immediately is sent into a frenzy when he realizes that his parents leveraged their home to pay for his education and everything is taken away upon their death. He runs and runs, and ultimately jumps onto a train to get as far away from his past as possible.The train happens to belong to a circus group, a motley crew of a circus at that. And thus the story unfolds…

The story bounces back between Jacob’s days in a nursing home at 93 and his memories of the circus experience as the veterinarian for all of the animals.My favorite part of the story involves the acquisition of an elephant named Rosie. If you read this book, you will undoubtedly fall in love with Rosie the elephant. All in all, this was definitely a book I would wholeheartedly recommend. It is tough at times, with violence and sections that really will make you squirm, but it is a fascinating story.

In addition, I heard that a film adaptation is in the works starring Robert Pattinson and Reeese Witherspoon…delightful!

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