Thursday, 23 June 2011

Book Review: Water for Elephants

Usually with books it takes me a while to get into it and then I can never put it down. However, with Sarah Gruen's bestselling novel, I couldn't put ut down during the first chapters, especially with Mr Jankowski as the ninety (or ninety three) year old witty, sarcastic senior. I prefer this Jacob Jankowski just because of the sheer humour and how his speech made me laugh out loud.
The middle was when I could put the book down. It would take me a while to pick it back up again. Days would literally go by before I read another page. I found things to write about for Senorita Glamourista and enjoyed spending time with friends and family.
Nevertheless, here we are.
I took Water for Elephants to York with me hoping that during the two and a half hour car journey I'd be bored and not flowing with ideas for my story. Therefore, I'd start reading it again, giving the novel actual time before I lay it aside again.
Instead, I fell asleep due to getting up before I usually arise.
So instead, the night before I was to return home, I picked up Gruen's novel and read a chapter, then another chapter and another and another and finally I fell in love with it again.
The story of the young Jacob Jankowski picked up with the affair became clearer to me. Jacob's love for Marlena was so passionate it was close to a fairy tale romance and with Marlena's husband, August (a bad tempered animal tamer with the evil role in a fairy tale), in the way it was nearly impossible.
Then another bit of circus flavour was thrown into the mix - Rosie, an elephant and protagonist of the story.
The love between Jaco and Rosie is a heartfelt part of the narrative. He shows her affection and she replies with cheeky smiles and human-like gestures. Gruen also illustrates Rosie as a joker. Perhaps the joker of the large circus family she now belongs to.
August is cruel to her through misunderstanding and she retaliates by embarrassing him infront of his audiences. It is humorous and made me side with Rosie even more so. Even Rosie being a murderer made me smile a little as she did it with such glee and I understood why she did it.
That happened during the main act of the novel. The huge stampede and the collapse of The Benzini Brothers Circus. This part of the novel, nearing the end is something no reader will be able to let go of. It is full of excitement and anxiety all at the same time as Gruen's words tumble after one another, making you feel like you are a part of one of the greatest accidents in circus history.
The end is a fantastic way to finish the novel with the ninety three year old Jacob Jankowski returning home, to the circus.

faye xoxo

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