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Thursday, December 6, 2007

Water for Elephants...Review

About the book:
"Though he may not speak of them, the memories still dwell inside Jacob Jankowski's ninety-something-year-old mind. Memories of himself as a young man, tossed by fate onto a rickety train that was home to the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth. Memories of a world filled with freaks and clowns, with wonder and pain and anger and passion; a world with its own narrow, irrational rules, its own way of life, and its own way of death. The world of the circus: to Jacob it was both salvation and a living hell." Jacob was there because his luck had run out - orphaned and penniless, he had no direction until he landed on this locomotive "ship of fools." It was the early part of the Great Depression, and everyone in this third-rate circus was lucky to have any job at all. Marlena, the star of the equestrian act, was there because she fell in love with the wrong man, a handsome circus boss with a wide mean streak. And Rosie the elephant was there because she was the great gray hope, the new act that was going to be the salvation of the circus; the only problem was, Rosie didn't have an act - in fact, she couldn't even follow instructions. The bond that grew among this unlikely trio was one of love and trust, and ultimately, it was their only hope for survival.

I loved it. I wasn't sure what to expect, but it was a wonderful book. I read it in an evening, mostly because I could not put it down.

The author truly is a storyteller. You can smell and feel the atmosphere of the circus; you sympathize with the characters and cheer when things go right and shed a tear when they go wrong. This is one of those books you want to read again and again.

A compelling and beautifully written novel.

Thanks to my library for having a copy I could borrow.

Read 12/07

* * * *
4/5 Stars

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