Water for Elephants a Novel

by Sara Gruen

Historical Fiction Modern and Classic Literary Fiction

Water for Elephants a Novel Synopsis


When Jacob Jankowski, recently orphaned and suddenly adrift, jumps onto a passing train, he enters a world of freaks, grifters, and misfits -- the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth -- a second-rate travelling circus struggling to survive during the Great Depression, making one-night stands in town after endless town. Jacob, a veterinary student who almost earned his degree, is put in charge of caring for the circus menagerie. It is there that he meets Marlena, the beautiful young star of the equestrian act, who is married to August, the charismatic but twisted animal trainer. He also meets Rosie, an elephant who seems untrainable until he discovers a way to reach her.

Water for Elephants a Novel Press Reviews

'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

'Lovely and mesmerising.'

'This masterpiece of storytelling is a book about what animals can teach people about love.'
Susan Cheever

'You are so immersed in circus life that you are completely blinded by the thrilling, fatal dazzle of sequins and sawdust.'
Daily Telegraph

'There is 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

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781444716009
Publication date: 14/04/2011
Publisher: Two Roads an imprint of Hodder & Stoughton General Division
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781444716009
Publication date: 14th April 2011
Author: Sara Gruen
Publisher: Two Roads an imprint of Hodder & Stoughton General Division
Format: Paperback
Genres: Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction,

About Sara Gruen

Sara Gruen's first bestselling novel Riding Lessons was published in 2004. She lives with her husband, three children, five cats, two goats, a dog, and a horse. Many of the characters and incidents in the novel are based on real people and true stories gleaned from her extensive research into the world of travelling circuses during the 1930s.

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