Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This isn’t the kind of book I would normally read (ie, popular) but I ended up really liking it. It was a very quick read and very addictive too. I definitely got sucked into it and wanted to read it all day. I especially loved the parts about Rosie, which were hilarious, touching, and so sad. I think I may have cried a couple times when she was being mistreated, and it was so horrifying I almost couldn’t read it.
Gruen does a great job describing everything in vivid detail so I could see it almost as clearly as if I’d been there, yet not going overboard and getting bogged down in detail. It didn’t bore with detail, but I got sucked in emotionally to all the struggles and conflicts. The only thing that could have used more detail for me was Marlena (amazingly, in a world of Twilight, that I could want MORE detail about a character’s appearance). Not just her appearance, but I felt like her character needed a bit more development.
I also liked the afterward--if anyone has a version of the book with the afterward, make sure to read it! It tells about how Gruen researched circuses and put a lot of the stories in her book, and the parts about circus elephants was especially interesting to me. And my favorite part: I loved Rosie’s revenge at the end--it was so perfect and made her story not so tragic as it could have been. Because really it seemed to me that the book was Rosie’s story more than anyone’s.
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