Author: Sara Gruen
It has taken a lot of time to decide how to rate this book: it was definitely not a must-read but it wasn't too bad also. Slightly slow in the beginning , but once the pace kicks-in you'll not find yourself yawning.
The story is mostly in flashback. It revolves around a young boy, Jacob, who's thrown into the jaws of the cruel world when his parents die. He realizes that he's no possessions in this world - living or non-living. He decides to flee from his present and bumps into a circus train, where he also meets the love of his life. Eventually, circus is where he wants to be for the rest of his life. The narration toggles between his present - the life of a 93-year old in an old age home and his past. Most of the story concentrates on his life in the circus until he gets married. What's appreciative of this novel is the research done by the author regarding life in a circus. Additionally, the illustrations give the effect as if you're reading a real-life story.
I liked the story but not so much that I would call it a New York Times Bestseller. That would be something like Kite Runner. Maybe that's where my disappointment lies, having read that it was a NYTB, I was expecting much more.
Why the name "Water for elephants"? I think it's because in his old age home Jacob had a fight with another resident who claimed that he worked for a circus and brought water for the elephants and that brought back the memories.
Bottomline: A nice read.