Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

 Poor Jacob Jankowski!  Just as he was about to sit for his veterinary exams at Cornell, he learns that his parents have been killed in an auto accident.  Then he learns that, since it was the depression, his veterinarian father took payments in the form of eggs and chickens and had mortgaged the house to pay for his Ivy League education.  It is the early part of the depression – he returns to college but cannot concentrate.  So Jacob, broke, discouraged and confused,  lights out, walking, walking until his feet hurt so bad he decides to hop a train and in that act he joins the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth.

Jacob is introduced to the circus life and it’s people.  His hiring is in doubt until Uncle Al the ringmaster and August the owner find out he’s practically a vet.  They don’t care that he didn’t sit for the finals.  They need an animal doctor. 

Jacob finds it’s a harsh life filled with good people and bad.  Things get really interesting when the circus finally gets an elephant named Rosie.  And dangerous when Jacob falls in love with the lovely Marlena, star of the equestrian act and Uncle Al’s wife.

Some chapters begin with vintage circus photos.  I really don’t want to tell you too much, there are surprises around every corner in this book.  I could not put it down and read it in 3 days.    Thank you, Mentor Public Librarian, for putting this book front and center on the featured books rack where I practically had to fall over it to get into the library!  I hope you stumble over it too.


About SallyK

A little blog about the ordinary and not so ordinary things our family does, places we travel, things we see. Like travel, cooking, family stories, book reviews, music? You will find it all here - comments welcome!
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One Response to Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

  1. Reggie says:

    This sounds like a marvellously exciting book! I’ll find out if our local library has it too. Thanks for the review. 🙂

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