“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?”



When I first heard of Water for Elephants a couple of years ago it was the title that captured me and I was imagining something exotic, set in Africa or some such wonderful place. Ok, so this book is not about safaris or falling in love on distant shores but I was absolutely gripped from the first page.

Water for Elephants offers all the fun of the fair, literally all the fun of the fair, or the circus at least during the American Depression and it’s meticulously researched and magical on every page. Gruen’s descriptions, from Jacob clinging to the side of the train to the menagerie with all the wild animals, were brought to life in this wonderful tale full of suspense, mischief and a trip through history.

The writing is absolutely beautiful, delectable in fact and while not all the characters are likeable, they are all very distinct and I ended up having strong feelings for and about a great many of them.

But the prose offers something different, as well as a magical trip through time you also get to see a life, played backwards. The way they say is the only way it can be understood. A tale of love, of adventure, of aging and the loneliness of old age, interwoven with fanfare, adventure, suspense and much danger.

Water for Elephants is an unputdownable trip through time, another age and another time but the writing makes you feel as though you are right there too, running away with the circus!


Reviewed by:

Kath Cross

Added 5th January 2017

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Kath Cross