The Encore gives me the opportunity to share older reviews and posts, and reviews of books I’ve re-read. I hope you’ll join in the conversation, share your thoughts. Enjoy!
So as soon as I finished At the Water’s Edge [read my review], I picked up a used copy of Water for Elephants. Since the characters and the plot in At the Water’s Edge left me wanting a bit more, I wanted to remind myself how Gruen pulled me in the first time.
I think the magic of Water for Elephants lies in how the story is told. Events in the present time trigger memories of the past and the reader is transported back in time with the main character, Jacob. To me, it is how many of us tell stories so it is at once a familiar storytelling style and new because often times we are journeying to a time we have never been. Stories told like this are some of my favorites.
Since this was a re-read for me, I was able to cruise through it. For me, I enjoyed my first read through more and the audiobook narration was so well done that I kept think I should have re-listened to this rather than re-read a physical copy.
Also, since the prologue of Water for Elephants starts out with a secret that sets the story moving forward, and I had read the book before, I knew the answer to the secret. As a result, the reveal was muted and the book wasn’t as shiny on this second read.
Water for Elephants is filled with colorful, complicated human characters and amazing animals. While several of us may have threatened to run off to join the circus as a kids, the circus life painted in Water for Elephants might easily change your mind. I would definitely recommend this novel to readers who enjoy historical fiction and have a fascination with circus history. The book doesn’t necessarily stand up on a re-read. And if you do enjoy audiobooks, I would wholeheartedly encourage you to listen to this one.
The Quick Book Review
Water for ElephantsAuthor: Sara Gruen
Published on: May 1, 2007
Genres: adult, mystery, historical fiction
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My Rating: Thumbs Down
Originally Read: April 21 to May 3, 2011