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Description - Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

This is a great, glorious, big-hearted novel set in a travelling circus touring the backblocks of America during the Great Depression of the early 1930s. It's a story of love and hate, trains and circuses, dwarves and fat ladies, horses and elephants - or to be more specific, one elephant, Rosie, star of Benzini Bros Most Spectacular Show on Earth .

When Jacob Jankowski, recently orphaned and suddenly adrift, jumps onto a passing train, he enters a world of freaks, swindlers and misfits in a second-rate circus struggling to survive during the Great Depression.

A veterinary student who almost earned his degree, Jacob is put in charge of caring for the circus menagerie. It is there that Jacob meets Marlena, the beautiful equestrienne who is married to August, a charismatic but violently unpredictable animal trainer. Jacob also meets Rosie, an elephant who seems unmanageable until he discovers an unusual way to reach her.

Water for Elephants is a story that has it all - warmth, humour, poignancy and passion. It has an energy and spirit like the feeling under a big top when the show is about to begin. It is a novel that will win your heart.

Buy Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen from Australia's Online Independent Bookstore, Boomerang Books.

Book Details

ISBN: 9781741752953
ISBN-10: 1741752957
Format: Paperback / softback
(195mm x 130mm x mm)
Pages: 448
Imprint: Allen & Unwin
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Publish Date: 1-Oct-2007
Country of Publication: Australia

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Book Reviews - Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

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Book Review: Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen - Reviewed by (12 Jul 2011)

What an amazing book! Not anything like I expected. I wanted to read the book before watching the movie (let's face it, the books are always better). It is an eye-opening look back at Jacob's life working with a circus. (Mostly) Chapters alternate between Jacob's time with a circus and the current day, where he lives in a nursing home. May sound a little boring I hear you say, especially the nursing home bits, but I found the nursing home chapters quite interesting too. Wow, I really had no idea what circus life would be like, especially during the 1920's and 30's. Life was harsh and money short. I felt like I knew the characters (not just the main ones) and that I felt that I was almost a part of the story. I am most impressed that the author, a woman, writes extremely well from a male perspective (in my opinion). I didn't want to put this down (and it didn't take long at all to get into the book). I was very disappointed when the story ended - so my only gripe was that the story was wound up too quickly for my liking. I can't stop thinking about this book!! Entertaining, informative and addictive!

Author Biography - Sara Gruen

Sara Gruen is an award-winning technical writer and a transplanted Canadian who moved to the States in 1999 for a technical writing job. Two years later she got laid off, and instead of looking for another job, she decided to take a gamble on writing fiction full-time. Fortunately, the gamble paid off. She made her fiction debut in 2004 with Riding Lessons , followed by Flying Changes . Water for Elephants is her third novel, and she's currently working on her fourth. Sara lives with her husband, three children, two dogs, four cats, two goats, and a horse in an environmentalist community in North Illinois. Her dream is to spend her life facedown in the ocean, coming up just long enough to eat a piece of fish, write a chapter, and go back in the water.

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