Summary: Jacob Jankowski, in his nineties, is agonized by memories of his past as a vet for the Benzini’s Brother’s Most Spectacular Show on Earth after having jumped, unknowingly onto their circus train. The circus management decided it would better to let him stay instead of kicking him off after finding out that Jacob was studying to be a vet and could take care of the show animals. There are three amazing characters that Jacob meets working on the show. First is August Rosenbluth, the schizophrenic circus boss who befriends Jacob. Second is Marlena , the star of the equestrian act that Jacob falls in love with. Last is Rosie, the show’s elephant that seems to be impossible to train until Jacob finds a way to get through to her.
Why I picked it up: It looked like an interesting story. I’d never read a book about a circus before, especially a second-rate circus from the Depression Era. Lot’s of people said it was a really nice book, so I felt good about it.
Why I kept reading it: It WAS an interesting story, different place, different time. It’s very well written with lots of detail and amazing characters. It’s also very heartfelt.
Who would I recommend it to next: Anyone and everyone. Water for Elephants is a great book.