Friday, October 5, 2012

Water for Elephants

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen, 335 pages

Water for Elephants follows Jacob, a Cornell-educated almost-veterinarian who manages to end up working for a traveling circus during the Depression. Jacob stumbles his way into the circus as green as can be and quickly sees the horrible things that go on behind the scenes of the big top. In the midst of all this, he manages to make some enemies and fall in love with one of the performers, the lovely Marlena, whose husband happens to be one of the aforementioned enemies and Jacob's boss.

I'm a sucker for a good circus (or circus story), and Water for Elephants didn't disappoint. This was an easy read, and Gruen's research into the era made the setting (if not the overarching plot) vivid and believable. I particularly enjoyed the inclusion of old circus photos at the beginnings of chapters. Not the best circus book I've read this year (that honor definitely goes to The Night Circus), but still enjoyable.

P.S. Whaddaya know, it's a banned book too. Yay for celebrating Banned Books Week without even trying!


  1. Banned for sexual content at a high school. It was part of a spring break elective course.