I just finished reading Sara Gruen’s Water for Elephants which is my book club’s September read. It’s hard to say what I loved most about this book. Sara Gruen is a masterful storyteller, and she does a brilliant job of flashing between the present in a nursing home and the 3.5 months in depression era Benzini Brothers Circus. Her narrator is protagonist “90 or 93” year old Jacob. It is a testament to Gruen’s skill that he rings entirely true. She has thoroughly captured the frustration of strong mind being caught inside a feeble body as Jacob remembers the joys and horrors of life on a circus train.
I remember loving circus books as a kid, and plainly that hasn’t changed. When I reached the last 50 pages, I couldn’t see how on earth it’d be possible to wrap all the conflicts in so little time, but she does. I loved the ending as well. I didn’t see it coming and it made me happy.
Great book. Highly recommended.