Friday, December 16, 2011

Book Review: Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
Release Date: 9th April 2007
Algonquin Books
Format: Paperback 
Pages: 414
Rating: 4.0/5.0

Summary from Amazon:
buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery"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."

I really enjoyed this book. And what I enjoyed most was the imagery of the circus. It just seemed so majestic...the description made me feel like I was really there, in the thick of it with the animals. Not only that, but it was a really easy book to read, and I really enjoy books that don't require me to do too much thinking - one of the main reasons why I read is to let my mind relax and journey someplace new and exciting.
The love story itself was also interesting to read, but I'm not sure if it's just me, or if the romance was jumpy. What I mean is, it didn't progress very me it seemed that Jacob meets Marlena, and then a couple of pages later, for no apparent reason, he was declaring his love for her. Whether this was the writing style or just me, it impacted on how I read the book and how I responded to it overall - if the romance had been conveyed better, this book would definitely be a 4.5 or 5 out of 5. Even so, this is a really great book to read - anyone who is a fan of historical fiction, chick lit and animals is going to love this book

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