Water for Elephants: A Novel
3 journalers for this copy...
An atmospheric, gritty, and compelling novel of star-crossed lovers, set in the circus world circa 1932, by the bestselling author of "Riding Lessons."
When Jacob Jankowski, recently orphaned and suddenly adrift, jumps onto a passing train, he enters a world of freaks, drifters, and misfits, a second-rate circus struggling to survive during the Great Depression, making one-night stands in town after endless town. A veterinary student who almost earned his degree, Jacob is put in charge of caring for the circus menagerie. It is there that he meets Marlena, the beautiful young star of the equestrian act, who is married to August, the charismatic but twisted animal trainer. He also meets Rosie, an elephant who seems untrainable until he discovers a way to reach her.
Beautifully written, "Water for Elephants" is illuminated by a wonderful sense of time and place. It tells a story of a love between two people that overcomes incredible odds in a world in which even love is a luxury that few can afford.
The story is seamlessly told between past and present, as Jacob remembers his life in the circus when the circus starts across the street from his retirement home. He talks about Marlena, his love, and his "bull" (elephant) Rosie, which is a different tale of love and is just as endearing.
As soon as I started this book I couldn't put it down. The characters and animals grabbed me and the tale of living on a train was enchanting. This is one of the better books I've read this year and I've already recommended it to people!
Jacob soon becomes the circus vet and the circus soon becomes the proud owner of Rosie, an elephant. Rosie unfortunately is untrainable until Jacob happens upon the method to get her to perform.
There are many wonderful characters in this book. Marlena, the beautiful horse back rider is married to August, the animal trainer. August has severe anger issues and everyone is afraid of him. There is Walter, the midget whom Jacob gets to bunk with.
This is a great book about love, love for another human and a love of animals. It is wonderfully written and a very compelling read.