Thursday, December 16, 2010

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

When Jacob Jankowski hopped a train to run away from a family tragedy, he couldn't have imagined the world in which he would find himself. He soon learns that the train is that of the Benzini Brothers Traveling Circus. An almost graduate of veterinary school, he is put in charge of the welfare of the menagerie. Jacob makes a few friends and quite a few enemies on the fateful journey. At the heart of the book is a love story between Jacob and one of the star performers, who happens to be married to a paranoid schizophrenic animal trainer that can't decide if he wants to kill Jacob or love him like a brother. Water for Elephants tells the story of Jacob's time with the circus and all the oddities that life brings. Taking place during the depression era, the story is vivid, beautiful, surprising, and at times sad.

Water for Elephants is one of the best books I have read in quite a while. It is absolutely riveting. Sara Gruen does such an excellent job of engrossing the reader in the story, there were times I was sure I could smell the popcorn and wild animals. I was so glad to hear this book is being made into a movie. The description of the circus and all the colorful characters was so visual it will lend itself perfectly to the big screen.


  1. Just saw the trailer for this movie. I can't wait! It looks beautiful, vibrant, and fascinating, just like the book!

  2. He has memories of very strange people. He found the circus when his luck was about to run out. He ended up being the vet for the circus. Marlena is part of the circus and Rosie the elephant. You will not forget this book, it stays with you a long time. You will laugh and cry! You have to read this one!