Tiffany's Reviews > Water for Elephants

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
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's review
Oct 17, 2007

it was amazing
Recommended for: fiction lovers
Read in October, 2007

Wow! That is the first word that comes to mind when I think of this book. It was pure magic for me. I grabbed it from the library as soon as I saw it on the shelf. I must admit that I had never heard of the book or the author, but was attracted to the colors on the cover. Now I know you can't judge a book by its cover, but in this case I did. The cover gives no synopsis, just some blurbs and quotes from people who have read it. I didn't know what to expect, but after the first chapter I was hooked. I could scarcely put it down at night and I am really suffering now from lack of sleep!

Gruen weaves a beautiful story of love and hate set during the Great Depression on the traveling circus circuit. Jacob is a man whose life has just fallen apart and he happens to find himself upon the train that belongs to the Benzini Brothers circus. A couple of lies he tells lands him a job as the circus vet. When he falls in love with a circus performer, his life is once again changed forever.

I was so intrigued by the whole circus element and immersed in the stories of these people's lives and how they lived as they traveled from place to place. As I read the author's notes at the end, I was surprised to learn that lots of events in this novel are actually based on stories she read and heard as she was researching this circus time period.

As I said, it is a magical book with beautifully written characters. A 5 Star read for me!
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Reading Progress

01/16 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-9 of 9) (9 new)

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message 1: by Sarah (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:15PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sarah I recently bought this one but I haven't read it yet. I've heard nothing but good things, though!

message 2: by Tiffany (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:15PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tiffany I think you will really enjoy it! It is just so different and good.

message 3: by Daniel (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:23PM) (new)

Daniel That is one good book review, Tiffany.

message 4: by Alison (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:32PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Alison Tiffany--I am starting this tonight. I see you gave it five stars.

Dottie I agree -- great review. I think I have to move this one up on the TBR pile because of my ancestral circus ties which is the uppermost reason I gravitated to the book. I think it will provide clues as to what those ancestors may have been like.

Alison You'll really like it, Dottie. It's a pretty quick read.

message 7: by Carolteach4 (new)

Carolteach4 I really enjoyed this book. I especially enjoyed the feistyness of Joseph at 90 (or 93). It really was good to be reminded that older folks who still have all their faculties should not be treated in a condescending manner. Too often people in assisted care facilities are treated like children. I loved the personality of Joseph, and the ending was really satisfying.

message 8: by Deb (new) - rated it 5 stars

Deb I loved this book too...reread it again after seeing movie! I loved the setting and the circus life.....totaly enjoyed

Tiffany Deb wrote: "I loved this book too...reread it again after seeing movie! I loved the setting and the circus life.....totaly enjoyed"

I need to get around to watching the movie! And definitely reread!

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