Water for Elephants

Sara Gruen

About this book

Find your local library.

Buy this book from Bookshop.org or hive.co.uk to support The Reading Agency and local bookshops at no additional cost to you.

When Jacob Jankowski, recently orphaned and suddenly adrift, jumps onto a passing train, he enters a world of freaks, grifters, and misfits. The Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth, a second-rate travelling circus struggling to survive during the Great Depression, makes one-night stands in town after endless town.

Jacob, a veterinary student who almost earned his degree, is put in charge of caring for the circus menagerie. It is there that he meets Marlena, the beautiful young star of the equestrian act, who is married to August, the charismatic but twisted animal trainer. He also meets Rosie, an elephant who seems untrainable until he discovers a way to reach her.

What we think of this book & ideas for gifting

This book is a joy; it’s a colourful, moving and riotous journey through the wilds of Depression-era America on a circus train and you just won’t be able to put it down. Written as part of National Novel Writing Month, it’s a real treat and we hope you and your recipients love it as much as we do.