Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
Published March 1st 2011 by Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill (first published April 9th 2006)Paperback, 426 pages
Source: Bought at Bookdepository for $9.61
"As a young man, Jacob Jankowski was tossed by fate onto a rickety train that was home to the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth. It was the early part of the great Depression, and for Jacob, now ninety, the circus world he remembers was both his salvation and a living hell. A veterinary student just shy of a degree, he was put in charge of caring for the circus menagerie. It was there that he met Marlena, the beautiful equestrian star married to August, the charismatic but twisted animal trainer. And he met Rosie, an untrainable elephant who was the great gray hope for this third-rate traveling show. The bond that grew among this unlikely trio was one of love and trust, and, ultimately, it was their only hope for survival."
- From Goodreads
Wow what an enchanting, engrossing, absolutely thrilling tale! This is one of those novels, you want to tell people about, even buy it for their birthday! You hear the hype and decide to try it, and guess what you will be blown away!
One of my favourites and one that will always stay in my heart.
Ms Gruen has a way of describing circus life so vividly that you feel like you are right there in the midst of things. Her characters are so amazing, you actually feel like you know how it feels to be 91 or 93 when you are reading the tale.
A novel you have to read.
"When you are five, you know your age down to the month. Even in your twenties, you know how old you are. I'm twenty-three you say, or maybe twenty-seven. But then in your thirties, something strange starts to happen. It is a mere hiccup at first, an instant of hesitation. How old are you? Oh, I'm--you start confidently, but then you stop. You were going to say thirty-three, but you are not. You're thirty-five. And then you're bothered, because you wonder if this is the beginning of the end. It is, of course, but it's decades before you admit it."
"Sometimes I think if I had to choose between an ear of corn or making love to a woman, I'd choose the corn."
"Dear God. Not only am I unemployed and homeless, but I also have a pregnant woman, bereaved dog, elephant, and eleven horses to take care of."