Water for Elephants, by Sara Gruen, 2006 (335 pp.)
This is the book that I actually took with me on our honeymoon and started reading in Jamaica. If I remember correctly, I ended up reading the last half or so on the plane back to the States, and I think I finished it at home.
So why am I blogging about it now? Because I just read it again this week. It was the book that was chosen for our March book club (which was scheduled for this afternoon), but too many people had conflicts this week, so we cancelled it. Even if we end up choosing a different book for April, I'm still glad I read it again.
Water for Elephants follows the story of Jacob, a young man who, in the summer of 1931, finds himself aboard the train of a circus...the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth. Although the author does include some details that give some insight into life during the Great Depression, the story really focuses around what life was like on a traveling circus, which is certainly unique. One interesting twist about this story that I like is that the narration goes back and forth between the 23-year old Jacob (and his circus experience) and 93-year old Jacob, who's in an "assisted living" home.
If you haven't read this book, I definitely recommend it. Don't worry...there's much more to the story than just "circus life." That really is just the setting. Of course, that also means that most of the characters are circus performers, workers, animals, and freaks. :)
Total number of books read in 2009: 14
Total number of pages read in 2009: 6010