Sara Gruen- Water for Elephants (Harper Perennial 2011) 4 Stars
Jacob has just lost his parents in the middle of the depression and leaving during his final veterinarian exams, he hops on a random train in the hopes of leaving his problems behind. Now he is part of the circus and he is using his vet skills to look after their animals. He has now found two things he loves, Rosie an elephant, and Marlena a married woman, whose husband’s mood swings make her a prime target of abuse. Trapped and not sure what to do, he may be forced into action as the circus crumbles around him.
The introduction was very good; it gets you into the book immediately, making you want to find out how this outtake is going to fit into the rest of the book. The plot was interesting, taking shape beautifully as it carried you through the life of this elderly man. It switched back and forth from past to present smoothly. Normally these shifts annoy me, but with this book it seemed natural. It was wonderfully told and captivated my attention. I did find myself wishing for less smut, as it really was not necessary. The characters jumped off of every page. They were very well done. The circus setting was unique, as you do not see many books about the circus, keeping this one fresh. The author also must have done a lot of research and showed this in the book. I also enjoyed the conclusion, it was a fitting way to end the novel. Overall, I think that this book is worth the hype and plan to watch the movie now that I have read the book.
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