From the publisher:
Orphaned and penniless at the height of the Depression, Jacob Jankowski escapes everything he knows by jumping on a passing train—and inadvertently runs away with the circus. So begins Water for Elephants, Sara Gruen’s darkly beautiful tale about the characters who inhabit the less-than-greatest show on earth. Jacob finds a place tending the circus animals, including a seemingly untrainable elephant named Rosie. He also comes to know Marlena, the star of the equestrian act—and wife of August, a charismatic but cruel animal trainer. Caught between his love for Marlena and his need to belong in the crazy family of travelling performers, Jacob is freed only by a murderous secret that will bring the big top down. Water for Elephants is an enchanting page-turner, the kind of book that creates a world that engulfs you from the first page to the last. A national bestseller in Canada and a New York Times bestseller in the United States, this is a book destined to become a beloved fiction classic.
Wow, this book was so good. I was hooked from the first page. I found the main character so endearing. I found the dynamics of the relationships quite interested as well. There is always a class struggle in this book. Even in the circus with a bunch of people travelling across the country, people were so divided. The main character in the book, also tells part of his story in the perspective of an old man. I have always found it important to know people's stories. When I look at the elderly I see rich life with so many stories. When Jacob is in the nursing home I found it endearing to read. I find that today people forget that the elderly are not just people to take care of and placate while in the final years of their life. We have so much to learn and hear from them. We need to be able to really listen to what they have to say. There is also the issue of domestic abuse in this book. I found it so important that someone took a stand against what was happening. All too often people sit back and don't get involved. Anyhow, I'm off on a tangent now. I would say if you haven't read the story go out and pick up the book now. I give the book 5 stars