Water for Elephants (movie tie-in, mass market)
I was truly 'swept away' by this book. It was so full of fascinating insights, wonderful (though not always lovable) characters and a story line that I couldn't put down. I loved the fact that all the anecdotes were taken from old circus history and I'd never heard of the great circus trains of mid 1900's America. As a bonus Ms Gruen has included some superb photos from circus archives that really complement the narrative.
Jacob Jancowski is studying for his final exams in veterinary medicine when the death of his parents leaves him in dire straits, both mentally and financially. In his confusion and despair he finds himself wandering, and before he comes to his senses he's jumped a train and entered a new life. It's a life full of highs and lows, a fast learning curve for a fresh faced lad from an Ivy League University.
Jacob, however, finds his niche and so unravels a wonderful story of an unknown time in a traveling circus.
Alongside this runs the current day Jacob, an old man in a nursing home, waiting out the end of his days, when the circus comes to town....
I loved the way the two stories were woven together at the end of the book, but I'm not going to give anything away. You'll have to read it!
My book of the year this year was Joanne Harris's "Gentlemen and Players", but at the last minute I think this book has pipped her to the post!
Read more HERE