Water For Elephants

Just finished Water For Elephants by Sara Gruen last week — excellent read. This book came at the suggestion of my wife, who keeps surprising me by her recommendations!

The book is about Jacob who’s about to sit for his vet final exams, but he learns his parents just died in a car crash. He finds out that there’s nothing left. The banks own everything, and to make matters worse the story takes place during the Great Depression. Jacob winds up running away and joining a struggling circus as a vet. He meets and falls in love with the wife of his boss, and I’ll stop there.

What I like about Gruen’s writing is her pacing. From the descriptions to the thoughts of the main character, the book moves well and picks up speed where it needs to and lets you catch your breath when you need to.

I was reluctant to read this book at first. I figured it was some kind of sappy romance about the circus. Of course, I was way off. The story is gritty and tense, but equally beautiful and exciting. The characters aren’t novel ideas, there’s nothing new here. What is new is throwing these characters into a traveling circus during the Depression. This discovery made me realize that while some agents often cite interest character driven novels, I enjoyed watching Gruen’s average characters live in a world unfamiliar to most.

I highly recommend this book as I believe it will appeal to almost any literary tastes. The writing is exceptional and the story is first-rate. I’ve read that this book will be a movie soon. As most books to movie go read Water For Elephants first than wait for the movie on Netflix or cable.

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