Something about circuses is inherently enchanting. From a young age, I think, many people are captivated by the idea of the circus. In her book Water for Elephants, Sara Gruen captures that feeling.
Jacob Jankowski was on the cusp of success when his life was turned upside down. With nothing left and not sure what to do, Jacob hops a train and finds himself in the middle of a circus train. Trained as a vet, Jacob is allowed to join and care for the animals. Things go smoothly until the circus gets an elephant who won’t listen and Jacob admits to himself that he’s in love with one of the performers. Suddenly everything is complicated, and while the circus is joyful on the outside, the inner workings grow more and more sinister.
Gruen writes a gripping, quick read that gets behind the scenes of the circus. Drawing from real-life stories, she creates realistic characters that draw you in and make you lose yourself in the story. The magic and the drama move the story right along. Gruen’s prologue makes you believe one thing about the story, only to turn the tables in the end.
Water for Elephants is a fun, quick read that sprinkles drama, romance, and comedy liberally throughout the story line.