Water For Elephants by Sara GruenWater For Elephants by Sara Gruen

Water For Elephants

bySara Gruen

Paperback | March 1, 2011

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Orphaned and penniless at the height of the Depression, Jacob Jankowski escapes everything he knows by jumping on a passing train—and inadvertently runs away with the circus. So begins Water for Elephants, Sara Gruen’s darkly beautiful tale about the characters who inhabit the less-than-greatest show on earth.

Jacob finds a place tending the circus animals, including a seemingly untrainable elephant named Rosie. He also comes to know Marlena, the star of the equestrian act—and wife of August, a charismatic but cruel animal trainer. Caught between his love for Marlena and his need to belong in the crazy family of travelling performers, Jacob is freed only by a murderous secret that will bring the big top down.

Water for Elephants is an enchanting page-turner, the kind of book that creates a world that engulfs you from the first page to the last. A national bestseller in Canada and a New York Times bestseller in the United States, this is a book destined to become a beloved fiction classic.

SARA GRUEN was born in Vancouver, lived in London, Ontario, andwent to university in Ottawa. She now lives with her husband and three childrenin a conservation community outside of Chicago. Her fiction debut,RidingLessons, was an international bestseller.Water for Elephantsis herthird novel. Visit her website atwww.saragruen.com.
Title:Water For ElephantsFormat:PaperbackDimensions:352 pages, 8.75 × 6.35 × 1 inPublished:March 1, 2011Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1443406287

ISBN - 13:9781443406284

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Rated 4 out of 5 by from Oh yes Riveting and well written. If you like a good story mixed with historical fiction, read this.
Date published: 2017-11-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Phenomenal This book is a page turner. I cried, laughed and fell in love with the main characters and Rosie the elephant. Captured the atmosphere of circuses in the 30's. Outstanding plot, finished this book in two days - Couldn't put it down!!
Date published: 2017-10-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of my fav books Such an amazing story. Even the title is perfect.
Date published: 2017-10-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing So tempting so tempting so tempting, it took me all these years to finally have the chance to pick up this book, but then I was hooked. Beautiful writing, amazing character, intriguing plot - this could easily be my favourite book of the year. I enjoy it tremendously. I just need to close my eyes now and I could fall back to the wonderful world created in Water for Elephants.
Date published: 2017-08-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful I am super picky when it comes to books. I loved this story so much, I have nothing negative to say about it. I read it over and over.
Date published: 2017-08-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Red the Book Before Watching the Movie; Much Better I really liked this book. The story is told through alternating points of view; young Jacob and elderly Jacob. You may like some chapters better than others, but I found each point of view entertaining.
Date published: 2017-08-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it!!! The transition between then and now was done flawlessly. A great love story!
Date published: 2017-07-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Memorable Sweet and tough, engaging and memorable historical fiction - great characters.
Date published: 2017-07-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing story Unique, thought-provoking, and one of the best love stories I've ever read. This book will stay with me for a long time!
Date published: 2017-06-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great book Great narrative, loved every minute
Date published: 2017-05-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Perfection! This will always be one of my absolute favourite books. I highly recommend. Sara Gruen is a great author. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-05-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from another great novel this one had a lot of sadness in it, but it was so mixed with happiness as well. I should really read it again!
Date published: 2017-05-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from AMAZING Easily one of the best books I have ever read. I love the nursing home aspect.
Date published: 2017-05-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Heartbreaking I enjoyed the way the novel was written with alternating chapters with time periods. It gave insight into the reasons why and where things ended up. There was heartbreak but happiness.
Date published: 2017-05-16
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Kept me reading Slow at times and unbelievable but it kept me interested in the story enough to finish it.
Date published: 2017-05-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Really cute story I cam say that I've really enjoyed this story. It definitely brought tears to my eyes. Highly recommend this for someone who's craving a cute romance.
Date published: 2017-05-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of my favourites Loved this story. Definitely recommend this one.
Date published: 2017-04-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Lovely novel This was an enjoyable novel. It had a great combination of heartbreak and excitement while being a true love story. Would recommend
Date published: 2017-04-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great story #plumreview This book is definitely worth all the praise it has received.
Date published: 2017-03-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Compelling story This book has so many "characters" all with their own story, confined in the train. This was a really good book, the film is good as well #plumreview
Date published: 2017-03-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Coming of age This book is a great coming of age novel that i absolutely loved
Date published: 2017-03-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved. Such a captivating story. You won't be able to put this book down.
Date published: 2017-02-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Beautiful Story I've read this book three times and I fall in love with it more and more each time. It's a story that people can easily relate to with its characters and the events in their lives really get at your heart strings. Loved this book.
Date published: 2017-02-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful Story I bought a previous edition of this book. It is a beautiful story and very well written.
Date published: 2017-02-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from great! this was an awesome quick read for me that I thoroughly enjoyed - her explanations of the characters were wonderful
Date published: 2017-02-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Unexpected I came across this book unexpectedly and didn't expect to love it as much as I did. I found the story was well written and was never boring. I couldn't put it down!
Date published: 2017-02-07
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Interesting I found this book was slow moving and a little hard to get into at first. About half way through, it held my interest more. Was a little hard to read with the animal cruelty, but enjoyed the happy ending.
Date published: 2017-01-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent book!! This was a really quick enjoyable read that every animal love will enjoy
Date published: 2017-01-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from love! Definitely one of my favorite books ever.
Date published: 2017-01-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good read He really did it, he ran away and joined the circus!
Date published: 2017-01-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Enjoyable This is an enjoyable and quick read! Lots of scary behind the scenes stuff from the circus too!
Date published: 2017-01-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from loved This is a very well written book and a wonderful love story. I would recommend it. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-01-16
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Not my favourite! To me this was just a love story in an unusual setting. The characters were weakly developed and I just couldn't get into the mood of the novel
Date published: 2017-01-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Couldn't put it down This is a very well written book and a wonderful love story. I would recommend it.
Date published: 2017-01-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Couldn't put it down This is a very well written book and a wonderful love story. I would recommend it.
Date published: 2017-01-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful love story Couldn't put this book down for long, the romance between the runaway vet student and the circus performer was beautiful and their love for the animals so real. This book made me cry at the ending, highly recommend.
Date published: 2017-01-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Read! I purchased this book because it was one of the options for a grade 11 reading list and sounded the most appealing to me. I was not wrong at all! This novel is eye-opening, inspiring, tear-jerking, and heart-breaking all at once, while still never failing to captivate the reader. I am so happy I made this purchase and highly recommend it to any avid reader above the age of fifteen.
Date published: 2016-12-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great book! My mother-in-law read it with her book group and recommended it to me! Such a great read - I can only recommend it!
Date published: 2016-12-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I loved this book I recommended it to my Mom and she loved it too.
Date published: 2016-11-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Different #plumreview I liked this easy to read book. It was unusual and interesting.
Date published: 2016-11-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it! This is the second book I have read from this author and I am liking her more and more. I will be looking to pick up her other books soon
Date published: 2016-11-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of my favourites I read this book for the first time many years ago, but I still love coming back to it. I love the writing style and the characters. To me this book is a timeless piece incorporating the perfect amount of tragedy, romance, hope, and fantasy.
Date published: 2016-11-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Fun read! I read Water for Elephants around the time the movie adaptation came out. I read it in one sitting and loved it! In the story, Jacob Jankowski is a lively, cantankerous, ninety-something year old living in a nursing home. A circus setting-up across the street from the home triggers his memory and he begins to remember the months he spent travelling with a circus after the sudden death of his parents. At the circus, he meets and falls in love with Marlena who is married to the charismatic, unpredictable and vindictive animal trainer August. Water for Elephants is a wonderful love story with an eclectic complement of characters set to the chaotic but still hierarchical life of a travelling circus. An enjoyable read that deals with the desperation and poor working conditions of the depression era as well as the issue of animal cruelty. The book effectively gives us a glimpse of the crude reality under the big top of the greatest show on earth. A fun read I really hope the movie does the book justice.
Date published: 2016-11-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it!!!!! Well written; telling the story from past to present. Many times I laughed out loud, when the men want to fight at the nursing home! The ending is perfect.
Date published: 2016-08-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it just as much as the movie! I loved this book! I had watched the movie adaptation first and I just had to read it. I am glad that I did since this story kept me wanting more. I love how this story begins with the main character Jacob remembering his past life and the hardships he endured. It is heartbreaking in its cruelty but uplifting with its love.
Date published: 2015-04-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Enjoyable read! This is a well written story, capturing the challenges of the times affecting men, women and beasts.
Date published: 2015-02-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A fun, easy, and rewarding read I thoroughly enjoyed this book and got immersed in the vivid world of a depression-era circus. Really, the book’s only fault is that it starts with its end. All along I knew what was coming, which stole some of the magic.
Date published: 2014-11-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Water for Elephants Extremely unique. Unlike anything I've ever read before. Author captured the attitudes of the animals and the relationships between performers and workers artfully.
Date published: 2013-07-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Such a Moving Story I really enjoyed this book. The end tied up so nicely; not only was it somewhat surprising, but you become emotionally attached to the main character. I have yet to watch the movie...I really hope it does the book justice.
Date published: 2012-10-19
Rated 3 out of 5 by from How much water can elephants really drink? I must say this was a well written novel, which did keep me interested throughout reading it. I was a little disappointed in how quickly the end of the novel got wrapped up and felt like I got jipped. The novel's prologue definitely grabs your attention and gets you to keep reading. The novel is set somewhere between 1998-2002 I would guess by how old the central character is and the early 1930s. The old man Jacob starts to remember his past when a circus rolls into a lot across from the nursing home which he lives in. The novel is about a veterinary student that because of reason I won't mention ran off and joined the circus. He quickly becomes the shows vet and falls in love with one of the performers. The novel has some very sad points throughout it that gives it a very grave tone while it gives you quite a few uplifting points. I primarily read it because my fiancée liked it a lot and I figure if someone who normally never reads likes a book, it might be worth checking out. It might just be me wanting more out of the novel so check it out and see what you think.
Date published: 2012-03-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from loved it! I first picked this book up because my mother in law recommended it to me. Once I started reading it I couldn't put it down. It took me no time at all to finish it. as I read it I had a clear picture of it and I remember thinking wow this could be an awesome movie if done right. once the movie did come out of course I had to go see it. I was VERY disappointed in the movie but i loved the book.
Date published: 2012-01-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from great read loved this book. Didnt want to put it down. Going to watch the movie soon...the books are always better.
Date published: 2011-09-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from AMAZING So very touching! A wonderful story makes this book a must read!
Date published: 2011-08-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The tragedy of the circus I felt compelled to buy "Water for Elephants" based solely on the beautiful cover, but was hesitant to read it knowing that the content would be harsh. "Water for Elephants" is based on the travelling train circuses of the 1930's during the Great Depression. A now elderly Jacob reflects on the love that develops between himself and Marlena and the menagerie of animals they vow to protect. In particular, Rosie the elephant will linger on in your thoughts long after the book ends. Put aside your reservations and read "Water for Elephants"!
Date published: 2011-07-23
Rated 3 out of 5 by from It was okay I haven't watched the movie yet I am basing this soley on the book. It was an interesting premis and I liked the characters, don't read it if you don't like descriptive gore/animal cruelty, I read to escape not to be repulsed that was the only think I didnt like about it.
Date published: 2011-07-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing I bought the book and read it from cover to cover on the three hour bus ride home from university. It pulls the reader in and shares the complex and amazing life of a circus performers. The book ties together at the end so perfectly, I have already lent it to one friend and have two others waiting. I would suggest this book to anyone who wants a strong and powerful read that is sure to touch your heart and leave you thinking.
Date published: 2011-06-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Truley Amazing I could not put the book down. I purchased this book specifically to take on vacation. I learned how to read in a pool; a floaty noodle under my legs, mid back and underarms, lay back and continue to be engrossed in the wonderful story that Sara Gruen wrote for our pleasure. A tough life the circus life but Sara expressed it unbelievably.
Date published: 2011-05-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A MUST READ!!!! A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!! Just one word AMAZING! This book captures the heart and soul of a reader through the words written on the pages. I must say, that thiswas one of the best books i have read.. in my opinion and many othersi have talked to. This book has sooo much romance and very emotional parts to it.I do not recommend this book to the young ones, where there is some inappropriate content in it. But, that is no problem because the book, hands down, is fantastic. Best story since the Notebook or anything like that. I truly suggest people to read this book.
Date published: 2011-05-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Very fun and exciting. I couldn't put it down. It was a very fun and exciting novel. I got to know and feel for the characters really quickly. Great read!
Date published: 2011-05-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Enjoyed this book Well-written. Liked the pace of the storytelling and the switch between time periods was flawless. Admire the protagonist's strength in character and conviction throughout the eras. Touching. Highly recommended.
Date published: 2011-05-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Water for Elephants Absolutely loved this book. Read it over a vacation and could not put it down. I can't imagine anyone not liking this book
Date published: 2011-05-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best book in a LOOOOOOOONG time. This book was wonderful. It was charming and endearing; I never wanted to put it down. The characters were so well rounded, not one of them fell short of amazing. You will laugh, cry and even fall in love with an elephant named Rosie or maybe a midget clown and his pug.
Date published: 2011-05-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Read! I thought this was an awesome book. At about halfway thru this i was completely hooked and couldn't put it down. Its awesome and really gives you a feel for life in the early 30s.
Date published: 2011-04-30
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Neat Concept. I chose to read this book because of all the hype surrounding it. I'm not gonna lie and say that I want to re-read it a thousand times and that I fell absolutely in love with it. Because I didn't. I like the whole idea of leaving your previous life behind and running away to start fresh. I think its what attracted people to this book, the whole concept jumping on a train and joining a circus is exciting and crazy. The book really was good. I liked how it was told and the ending made me smile. I like how Gruen ended it. Overall it's a good read, I'm happy I read it. Random Sidenote: I watched the movie...the book was better. No surprise there though. That's usually the case.
Date published: 2011-04-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Delightful! What a nice story. It had its rough moments to get through but all in all I thought it was a great book.
Date published: 2011-04-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Rosie Stole My Heart I absolutely devoured this book in one day, good thing it rained all weekend. The story was smooth, enchanting, mesmerizing....someone commented that the ending was predicable so i was expecting something totally different..i think the ending was perfect. And i have to say that Rosie stole my heart :)
Date published: 2009-02-22