It’s not very often I read a book within two days -Water for Elephants is just one of those exceptions. Sara Gruen certainly has the gift of alluring and gripping story-telling -I thoroughly enjoyed this!
Some may argue that not all of the characters are well developed and are in fact bordering on being flat; they may also say the storyline and plots are not imaginative… In some (tiny) parts I agree however; there are elements that needs to be considered; the story is told in first person through Jacob’ POV -there is only so much Jacob can show through his eyes where it relates to other characters in the story, the characters he spends more time with will naturally be stronger opposed to the others -well that’s my opinion. When it comes to the plot; I have no qualms, most story plots are recycled anyway therefore, I would not criticize an excellent book just in order to find a niggly bit to complain about! The important thing to remember is that; whether the plot is re-used or not, it’s how the plot is told and applied to the mechanics of the novel. That, in essence is, the crucial point in my eyes.
What I truly love about this story is the way in which Gruen has written it. The construction of it is fantastic! All the parts work so well that you actually find yourself being swept into the craft of the storyteller. Jacob’s journey through his younger and older self is a pure delight; both dealt with a masterly pen and the humour apparent just makes it that much better. Gruen has certainly nailed all the right elements for this novel and her research seems impeccable in both the circus history as well as the environment and attitude that comes with old age (working with older people allows me to endorse this end no doubt). The continual plots, the developing characters, the historical events and the love story fluidly intertwines within the rich backdrop of the circus and gives a true sense of an era that hard times were prevalent -not to mention the wit and ingenious that is introduced with the older character of Jacob and his surroundings.
I do not want to give too much away; this is a must read; I definitely will be reading this again and again and again -I kid you not! I cannot praise it enough; it’s definitely in my top 10 reads of all time! If you have not read Water for Elephants –you must do so now; do not miss out on this delightful and gripping tale.