cover
ISBN: 978-1565125605

Excellent read.

Set in the US during the Great Depression. Boy joins a traveling circus (orphaned when his parents died in a car crash). Appointed as their veterinarian. Meets August and Marlena, Kinko (Walter to his friends), and an elephant named Rosie.

August turns out to have an uncontrollable temper (though I feel he still didn’t seem as terrible as he’s made out to be).
An affair between Jacob and Marlena, someone is killed (wondered if it’s august or al the ring master – turns out both. Rosie and a mob. Thrown off the track.)

Like Seabiscuit, this is set in the Great Depression. Unlike Seabiscuit, this is a made-up tale (as clarified by the author). Historical fiction.

A fictional tale, pieced together based object some actual events, like an elephant trainer being killed by his elephant.

The part about Rosie being beatened until it was lying on its side with its feet still chained to a stake was a bit unbelievable. Why won’t the elephant fight back?

Author’s interview. Author’s note explains how she got the idea and how she researched for the novel. Discussion notes. History of the American circus.

Told from the perspective of old Jacob Jankowski. He escaped to the circus and finally escaped the mundane life to be back with what he considers as home.

But I still don’t quite get why it’s titled “water for elephants”. A metaphor?

The writing style and treatment reminds me of Lovely Bones.

This novel gets a 4 out of 5 from me.

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