Book: Water for Elephants

Originally Published: May 26, 2006

By: Sara Gruen

In her stunning third novel, author Sara Gruen paints a beautiful picture of entertainment and its gritty backdrop.

After the shocking death of his parents, Jacob runs away and accidentally joins The Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth. His unfinished degree proves to be of use, and he’s made the show’s veterinarian. When the show inherits an elephant, it’s Jacob’s job to care for her under the watchful eye of animal trainer August, as he creates a new act for his wife Marlena.

Gruen creates magic with every detail she pours into the story. She first creates a sympathetic framing story from the viewpoint of an elder Jacob, and then goes back to the past to create multidimensional circus characters – both performers and workers – and enough life that the circus becomes a character itself.

Final say: Truly a masterpiece. ★★★★★

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