Water For Elephants – Review

Cover of "Water for Elephants: A Novel"

Cover of Water for Elephants: A Novel

I recently finished the reading the book Water For Elephants by Sara Gruen and I miss it. There are some books I’ve read that when I finish I think, “glad I’m done with that”, there are other books that make me repsond, “that was good”, or “I enjoyed that”, or “I’ll have to recommend it to a friend”, but there are few books that I read that when I finish I long for the story to continue and I mourn that I can no longer escape into the novel’s world. Water For Elephants is one of those rare finds.

It takes place in the 1930’s depression era in the United States and follows the story of a young man whose life gets turned around in a new direction unexpectedly and he stumbles into the world of the circus. There is adventure, moral dilemas, well-developed characters (even the back-ground ones), interesting historical references, love, and a cirus with all the animals, workers, performers, and freaks that go with it.

The book opens with a scene that sets you up to make you think you know how it’ll all end up – but you don’t. The book wavers from present day nursing home to big top in a wonderful way that shows how youth shapes age. There is love and hate and longing and story…

I want to look at old circus photos, read actual accounts of those who were in the circus in the 1030’s, and learn more about the era of the rail-road traveling circus.  I want to see the movie that will soon be in theaters to see if it does my imagination justice. I want the story to contine after the last page. I miss Water for Elephants.


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