Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

335 pages
Published May 1st 2007
Published by Algonquin Books
Finished reading on January 21, 2015
Genre Literary | Circus
Rating A+

Orphaned, penniless, Jacob Jankowski jumps a freight train in the dark, and in that instant, transforms his future. 
By morning, he’s landed a job with the Flying Squadron of the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth. By nightfall, he’s in love. 
In an America made colourless by prohibition and the Depression, the circus is a refuge of sequins and sensuality. But behind the glamour lies a darker world, where both animals and men are dispensable. Where falling in love is the most dangerous act of all…
Jacob, the Cornell veterinarian (sans the finals) gave me a ride inside the circus and its menagerie along with the odds and bits and Marlena, Camel, Kinko (Walter), Quennie the dog, and Rosie the Polish-speaking elephant.  
Jacob, the ninety-ish, gave me a window to the assisted living, a speck of the sharp mind and frail body of people in geriatric care.
Jacob, the impulsive, never mind the age, can still do outrageous things like sneak out, and run away with the circus.  
This book made me laugh on page one, and teary-eyed, with feelings of ‘the book was good, emotional attachments included’, when I closed the last page.


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