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Like Water for Elephants – Sara Gruen

July 7, 2008

Set during the 1930’s, Water for Elephants tells the story of Jacob Jankowski who leaves his life as a Cornell University veterinary student for the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth after a freak accident kills both of his parents. The book tells the story of Jacob’s life with the circus in a series of flashbacks as a 91 or 93 year old man in a rest home.

This book was wonderfully researched and written. Gruen illustrates the life of a circus worker in the 1930’s in a manner that makes you really feel like you are there and a part of the story. It is a somber time period, and you can feel the diffuculty of life for each of these characters. As a reader, you really grow to love Jacob’s character and his care and concern for the other circus workers and for the animals he works with, especially Rosie (the elephant).

This is such a good book. I loved it from the first page to the last. I can not say enough good things about this book. A definite must read.

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