A Review of Gruen’s Water for Elephants

March 8, 2011

Book Title: Water for Elephants
Author: Sara Gruen

Book Review:

This book introduces you to Jacob, an elderly man, with an exciting past. Through Jacob’s eyes, we see the glamour and the hardships of life in the circus.

Gruen seamlessly switches from young Jacob to elderly Jacob and back again. Each chapter I was left wanting to know more, to read more. How does young Jacob’s experience affect elderly Jacob’s thoughts? How do elderly Jacob’s actions reflect young Jacob’s past? The flow of the book was incredible.

Parts of the book were incredibly graphic, but they painted a vivid picture of the circus as Jacob knew it. The peep shows and parties were part of Jacob’s life, and they obviously left him conflicted and confused – as we see in his apparent shame and repentance.

Mixed in with the explicit exploits of the circus is a beautiful love story that overcomes some overwhelming odds, including an abusive past, an absent family, and a nomadic lifestyle.

In addition, Gruen takes the reader on a touching journey as she presents elderly Jacob’s failing memory, evident anger, and never-fading loyalty to the circus.

If you have thought about reading this book and just haven’t found the time, pick it up. You may just join the rest of us who rave over Gruen’s work in Water for Elephants.

*This book was chosen as the February read for the Bloggy Book Club. I was not paid for this review.

**Find out more about the Bloggy Book Club here. The March read is The Help by Kathryn Stockett.

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One Response to “A Review of Gruen’s Water for Elephants”


  1. […] February 2011 – Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen Bloggy Book Club Bloggy Book Review […]


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