Emily's Reviews > Water for Elephants

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
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's review
Mar 25, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: american-history, bestsellers, fiction, historical-fiction, favorites
Read from April 03 to 16, 2010 — I own a copy

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. A few chapters in I could already tell it would become a favorite. The storyline is unique, and the tale is gripping. As someone who has never really been interested in the circus or anything having to do with a circus, I found this book compelling and interesting. Set in Depression era America, the story follows Jacob, an Ivy League dropout who literally "runs away to join the circus" after his parents are killed in a car accident. With twits and turns filled with exotic animals, evil characters, murder, suspense, and romance, the book captivated me and almost made me wish I could visit a circus some day.

The two things that were hard for me in this book were the chapters with 93-year-old Jacob (the book centers around the old Jacob having flashbacks to his circus days) and the scenes dealing with animal abuse. Because be forewarned, there is a great deal of animal abuse (it was part of the circus back in it's hey-day). But the chapters of old Jacob made me so sad...hoping I never end up old and stuck in a nursing home, left to finish off my remaining years in a wheelchair eating cafeteria food. It was a bit depressing, but the end is a happy one, and one I didn't totally see coming.

All in all, a joy to read. I had trouble putting it down.

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04/04/2010 page 82
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