It’s a story of love and hate, trains and circuses, dwarves and fat ladies, horses and elephants – or to be more specific, one elephant, Rosie, star of Benzini Bros Most Spectacular Show on Earth …
When Jacob Jankowski, recently orphaned and suddenly adrift, jumps onto a passing train, he enters a world of freaks, swindlers and misfits in a second-rate circus struggling to survive during the Great Depression.
A veterinary student who almost earned his degree, Jacob is put in charge of caring for the circus menagerie. It is there that Jacob meets Marlena, the beautiful equestrienne who is married to August, a charismatic but violently unpredictable animal trainer. Jacob also meets Rosie, an elephant who seems unmanageable until he discovers an unusual way to reach her.
Water for Elephants is a story that has it all – warmth, humour, poignancy and passion. It has an energy and spirit like the feeling under a big top when the show is about to begin. It is a novel that will win your heart.
‘I loved Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen. Great story, loads of fun; hard to put down. So what if the heroine weighs 2500 pounds?’ Stephen King
‘Rich and outlandish… you are so immersed in circus life that you are blinded by the thrilling, fatal dazzle of sequins and sawdust.’ The Telegraph
‘An imaginative modern fairy story, teeming with eccentric characters’ The Times
‘This masterpiece of storytelling is a book about what animals can teach people about love.’ Susan Cheever
‘Lovely and mesmerising.’ Kirkus Reviews
‘A tender story of first love, of murder, mayhem and animal and human brutality, of hucksters, whores and the general hoopla created when the circus rolls into town… This book is every bit the fabulous escapist entertainment that the big top once was.’ Sunday Express