It’s that time again! Today I wanted to talk about another one of my favourite books. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen.
I love this book, and it’s unlike anything I’ve read before. The book is a series of memories told by Jacob Jankowski, whom we meet as a 93-year-old man in a nursing home. Jacob takes us back to his earlier years when he was 23 years old and the story begins from there.
After receiving some devastating news, Jacob has a breakdown, leaves the Ivy league school where he had been training to be a vet and stumbles upon a train that holds a travelling circus show known as the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth! In other circumstances anyone who jumped on the train would be tossed back off, but Jacob tells the circus boss that he is a vet, and he is therefore kept on to care for the animals. There are several elements to this story that make it, entertaining, heartbreaking and I found it to be a true page turner. It does have a love story in the plot, but that’s not really the main focus, and you will find that you are far more interested in Rosie the elephant and her relationship with Jacob, than Jacob and Marlena (Although maybe that’s just me). The treatment of the animals within the circus is also an important topic in this story, and for someone who loves animals, hard to read at times, but trust me you should read this to the end!
Jacob’s story really comes full circle in a lot of ways, and you find yourself rooting for him to succeed, hoping that the circus makes changes for the good of the people and animals and really anticipating the climax of Jacob’s story. I cannot recommend this enough, it is a beautifully written book and a captivating story you can read time and time again.
Let me know your favourite page turners in the comments!