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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Read of the Month: Water for Elephants

I am going to try to do a book review once a month. (We'll see how long it will last:)

For my very first Read of the Month, I have picked Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen. The movie was recently released and I thought I would read the book before I saw the movie. The movies always seem to ruin the books for me so I like to read them before seeing the movie.

I thoroughly enjoyed every word of this wonderful novel. The story is about Jacob Jankowski and his experience with a circus in the 1930s. At the beginning of the book we find Jacob in his last semester of Vet School with a future at his father's small veterinary practice. His story takes a turn for the worse when his parents are killed in a car accident and everything they own has to go to the bank. He runs away during final exams and winds up on a circus train. He finds the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth to be both his salvation and a nightmare. It is found out that he is a veterinary student and he gets put in charge of the circus menagerie where he meets the beautiful equestrian star, Marlena, who is married to the twisted animal trainer, August.  In a race to claim assets of a circus that broke apart, Uncle Al , the ringmaster, buys an un-trainable elephant named Rosie. The bond that grew among this unlikely trio became their only hope for survival. 

This novel is written from Jacob's point of view and flips between young Jacob at the circus and old Jacob who is now in a nursing home. The format reminds me of The Notebook because the author never reveals key events until the very last moment. I was on the edge of my seat the whole book, which I couldn't put down at all. I finished reading it in only two days. Gruen's writing style kept me hooked until the last page. I always felt like I was part of the story and became completely emersed. 

I highly recommend this book to everyone!

Let me know what you think about the book or if you think you will read it.