A Book Review: Water for Elephants, by Sara Gruen

June 17, 2018


Though I only just posted a book review about a week ago, I couldn't help but post yet another one to share with you all the magnificent book I just recently finished, Water for Elephants. This novel was written by the same author of the novel I appraised in my latest book review, entitled Ape House, and I enjoyed it so much that I decided to have a go at Water for Elephants.

I can undoubtedly say that Water for Elephants will go down as one of my favorite reads of all time. This was one of those rare reads that had me glued to each page and caused me to lose track of all time when I delved into its glorious story.

Similarly to Gruen's Ape House, Water for Elephants deals greatly with the rights and treatments of animals, in this case for the animals involved in a traveling circus. Taking place during the depression era of the 1930's, her novel uncovers the struggles of those living during this period in history as well as exposes some of the terrible disturbances and realities of those involved in the circus at this time. She combines these truths with her own fictitious elements to create an illustrious and vivid story.

Water for Elephants is primarily known to be a story of romance, but do not disregard this story if you tend to express a disliking towards this genre. Gruen expresses that there are different kinds of love, and illustrates these varying forms beautifully through interactions with the characters in her novel. We see a case of forbidden love, which much of the story is built around and is easily recognized by the reader, but we also are subtly exposed to different types of adoration; love between humans and animals, companionship between comrades, and a temperamental, dangerous love. 

Gruen's dark, glitzy tale is full of heart wrenching surprises that will have you hanging off the edge of your seat. I highly recommend picking up a copy of Water for Elephants - you will not regret it! 


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