Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
“Orphaned, penniless, Jacob Jankowski jumps a freight train in the dark, and in that instant, transforms his future.
By morning, he’s landed a job with the Flying Squadron of the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth. By nightfall, he’s in love.
In an America made colourless by prohibition and the Depression, the circus is a refuge of sequins and sensuality. But behind the glamour lies a darker world, where both animals and men are dispensable. Where falling in love is the most dangerous act of all…”
I was immediately captured by the story and then I simply just couldn’t let go. All the descriptions in the story makes you want to be there and experience everything yourself. Taking care of elephants – who wouldn’t be up for that?
I really liked the story. It was interesting, well-written and very emotional. It was very easy to identify with the main character, Jacob, and feel what he felt in the exact moments.
“The more distressing the memory, the more persistent it’s presence. ”
In the end, it’s the idea of having plans for your entire life and then in a tiny second, everything can change. Everything that you within reach can grasp and hold on to can wither so easily as lifting a finger. That’s how Jacob feels when finishing school and becoming a Veterinarian and then all of sudden, he loses both of his parents in an accident. He gets a job at “the Flying Squadron of the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth” – taking care of the animals, most importantly, the elephant Rosie.
It is a beautiful story of loss, dangerous love and a fascinating story of America during the Depression in the 1930s.
“Even as your body betrays you, your mind denies it.”
It is a great story of loss, moving on and falling in a stormy and dangerous love. Of course, it’s subjective and it depends on which kind of books you like. This book’s plot is a traveling circus, animals, falling in love and a bit of history – it totally works for me. I love that the main character, Jacob, has experienced so much: a harmonious life turning into a nightmare; losing his parents and being without financial support and the fact that he still stays strong, because he has to. The odds are against him but secretly you keep rooting for him, while turning the pages. The star-crossed lovers-theme is again in motion; Jacob immediately falls in love with the beautiful Marlena that he can’t have, because of August.
I was captured right away and I was very moved through the entire novel. Sara Gruen has a fascinating and vivid writing style.
It lets you disappear into another world, as a good book should make you feel.