Water for Elephants Review

In Water for Elephants, by Sara Gruen, ninety-three year old Jacob Jankowski reflects on the time he spent working for the circus called the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth. This story begins with a tragedy, as twenty-three year old Jacob runs away from everything he had ever known when he receives a message that his parents died. He finds himself embarking on a major journey when he begins to work as a vet for the circus. During his time on the circus train he runs into altercations with the paranoid schizophrenic August and the director of the circus Uncle Al while falling in love with August’s wife, Marlena. This time period proves to be the most important in his life as he experiences new things, finds solutions to nasty, dangerous situations, and meets the woman that he spends the rest of his life with. Gruen’s talented writing style allows the reader to truly connect and experience a wide variety of emotions due to the thoughtfully crafted characters and their interactions with each other and the circus animals. This story’s unexpected turns keep the reader on the edge of his seat while incorporating many historic details about the 1930s and the Great Depression. This well-written novel’s unique and romantic theme is sure to please a wide variety of readers.

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