Water for Elephants

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Water for Elephants
350 pages; Algonquin Books

Because who doesn't love a pachyderm and a happy ending?

This depression-era tale of life with a third-rate traveling circus centers on orphaned animal caretaker Jacob, the woman he loves and her cruel and abusive husband, who happens to be the boss. Jacob, now 90 or 93 (he can't recall), narrates from a nursing home, with vivid memories of the freaks, the clowns, the drunks, the grifters, the rubes and of course the animals (including one very special elephant). The seemingly star-crossed love affair kept us turning pages, and the ending made us glad we had.
— Dawn Raffel