Jen's Reviews > Water for Elephants

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
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's review
Jan 19, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: my-favorites, x-read-in-2011

WOW! This book was defiantly not what I thought it would be - I didn't read any other reviews – in fact I didn't even read the back of the book - yes I'm a Robert Pattinson fan , and I’m not afraid to admit it  SO of course I had to read the book. I knew it was going to be good - but I didn't know that I would have loved it this much .

I love Elephants - always have, always will - but after this book - I think I see them in a whole different light - Rosie was the star of this book (ok no Jacob was, but Rosie was the star of the ring :) I loved her sense of humor - who would have thought Elephants were like that :) HA! And she smiled – a LOT  I just keep picturing an elephant smiling 

OK here it goes …
First of all, The book is told in 2 different ways - One is from Jacob's (not going to attempt to spell his name without the book in front of me) POV when he's an old man - 90 or 93 years old .. he's not sure which, and isn't sure it really matters either. Life as an old man, he has all his teeth, but they still make him eat jello and mashed up foods - he can still walk and get around on his own, but they make him sit in a wheel chair all day so he doesn't risk falling down.. he's miserable.. His kids (all 5 of them) couldn't take him in, so they set him up in a nursing home. He tries his best to make the most of it, but after awhile. things start to get to him.. They rotate their visits between the kids, grandkids and great grandkids – he doesn’t know any of them anymore so it doesn’t matter…

He sleeps - and when he sleeps, he dreams of his past.....

The book started out with Jacob had a happy life - he grew up helping his dad out as vet - when he was 23, he was in his final stage of collage to earn his license then was to partner with his dad. Only things don't always go as planned when we're focusing on our future - we try our hardest to do what we want to do - but sometimes things happen for a reason - Poor Jacob's whole life got turned around when his parents died. He didn't have any money, didn't have his degree, and didn't have a place to live - so in a blind state of mind, he started walking away from the town - after a few hours, his feet started hurting. He heard a train - he started running after it- then he threw himself into a stock car... only to be greeted by a couple of circus workmen...
Jacob wins over the friendship of Camel , one of the guys who knows everyone in the show and he offers to help Jacob land a job with the circus. Since Jacob isn't afraid of hard work, and he's a good kid, he excepts this offer..

When he meets with Uncle Al - the head ring master , Jacob tells him that he didn't quit finish his collage exam, so he doesn't technically have his vet license, but that doesn't seem to bother anyone - he is a vet enough, and in Uncle Al's eyes, he's a good asset to the circus.

This book has everything in it - I'm so excited for the movie . I am hoping they can change a couple little parts to turn the movie into a PG 13 movie. The book is a little descriptive in some areas - at the cooch tent for starters, but for a movie , they could easily moderate it so she isn't fully ... "twirling around" lol

The whole thing with August and Marlena being friends with Jacob was great. I loved that August seemed to generally care of Jacob at first - he seemed to believe that he was a good asset to the circus and that everything was good in his life. I was disappointed for the most part of the book, knowing that Marlena and Jacob were suppose to be together, but she was married to August . But after awhile, everything really falls into place.

The book is a pretty fast read I think - a lot of details in the book. There isn’t' really a lot going on, other than a few months being on the road with the circus , then a full day with him in the nursing home, but the end of the book is classic - It brought good tears to my eyes to see this old bitter man happy again :) I really deserves it :)

Great book - I'm more then anxious to see the movie now :)

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Quotes Jen Liked

Sara Gruen
“I open the orangutan's door and set a pan of fruits, vegetables, and nuts on the floor. As I close it, her long arm reaches through the bars. She points at an orange in another pan.
'That? You want that?'
She continues to point, blinking at me with close-set eyes. Her features are concave, her face a wide platter fringed with red hair. She's the most outrageous and beautiful thing I've ever seen.
'Here,' I say, handing her the orange. 'You can have it.'
She takes it and sets it on the floor. Then she reaches out again. After several seconds of serious misgivings, I hold out my hand. She wraps her long fingers around it, then lets go. She sits on her haunches and peels her orange.
I stare in amazement. She was thanking me.”
Sara Gruen, Water for Elephants

Reading Progress

January 19, 2011 – Shelved
July 12, 2011 –
41.0% "Loving this book! Totally not what I was expecting :)"
Started Reading
July 13, 2011 – Shelved as: my-favorites
July 13, 2011 – Finished Reading
August 26, 2011 – Shelved as: x-read-in-2011

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