Thursday, February 5, 2009

Table of Contents: Water For Elephants

Author: Sara Gruen
Publisher: Algonquin
Year: 2007
Synopsis: Water for Elephants has an elderly Jacob Jankowski telling the story of his life with the circus. In 1932 just before he graduated from veterinary school, his parents died in a car accident. Having lost everything, he finds himself on a train with the Benzini Brothers traveling circus and decides to join them. The Benzini Brothers is not a top flight circus, full of mangy animals and brutal and odd employees. Jacob's veterinary skills move him up to being an animal doctor, and he finds himself falling for the beautiful Marlena, wife of the mercurial and bad-tempered animal trainer. When the circus purchases an elephant named Rosie and who then appears to be untrainable, it's up to Jacob to train her and save the circus.

What Others Have to Say:
New York Times
"With a showman's expert timing, she saves a terrific revelation for the final pages, transforming a glimpse of Americana into an enchanting escapist fairy tale."

Curled Up
"...Jacob’s spirit retains the essence of his kind nature, a man who cannot be broken by circumstances."

Quill and Quire
"...heartfelt, entertaining, and poignant..."

Entertainment Weekly
"...sprightly tale has a ringmaster's crowd-pleasing pace."


  1. I LOVED this book. I could totally visualized the characters and the setting. My grandfather was a front man for the circus. Never met him, but this book made me feel connected to his work.

  2. Cool - love it when fiction books connect with experiences in the real world.