Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
"I don’t talk much about those days. Never did. I don’t know why – I worked on circuses for nearly seven years, and if that isn’t fodder for conversation, I don’t know what it.Actually, I do know why: I never trusted myself. I was afraid I’d let it slip. I know how important it was to keep her secret, and keep it I did – for the rest of her life, and then beyond.In seventy years, I’ve never told a blessed soul.
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."
from front flap
Over 2,000 ratings on Amazon and it has a 4.4?! That shows you how awesome this book is. You might read the synopsis and think that it sounds boring because of the time period and the fact that it's based in a circus, but this was one of the best books that I have read. Since it is such a rare setting, you don't expect half of the things that happen and it's such a new territory, you really can't form that many predictions. Of course, you can predict what happens with the characters' feelings and relationships, but the aspects that surround them and what happens in between is all open. Two of my roommates have also read this book and really liked it and considering the fact that we all have very different tastes when it comes to books, this shows that it's a book for everyone. You'll find yourself loving some of the characters and hating others, hoping that only good things will happen with the animals, and secretly wishing that what you read in the prologue will happen soon. I cannot tell you how much I loved this book. Everything about it was so new and fresh and it was a pretty quick read. I would definitely recommend this to everyone!
By the way, I cannot wait for this movie to come out! The casting sounds awesome: Robert Pattinson as Jacob, Reese Witherspoon as Marlena, and Christoph Waltz as August (by far the best decision). Here are some pictures of the cast on set:
I CAN'T WAIT!
P.S. I'm about half way through with Change of Heart, and it's yet another great read. It's about a man who murdered a child and her stepfather and received the death penalty. Now, 11 years later, he's still in prison waiting to die and he decides he wants to donate his heart to a little girl. The only thing is, she is the sister and daughter of the two he killed. Just writing about it makes me want to stop doing this and get back to the book! I'll do a review when I finish it which will hopefully be soon :)