You're going to notice that the pictures with this post have absolutely nothing to do with the title. It's fine, though. It's fine because they're pretty and it's June and warm and the daylilies are blooming. Yeah, my internet situation is the pits, but the sun is shining! And it's really not that hot outside. And life is fine.
So, instead of visiting blogs or doing things on the internet, I'm reading. I love reading and I've just finished Water for Elephants and I really enjoyed it.
The book is set in the year 1931 and after the prologue, we open up in a lecture hall at Cornell University. Our lead character, Jacob Jankowski, is sitting in class, listening to a boring professor when suddenly, the dean comes in and asks to see him.
Without divulging too much information about their conversation, Jacob is left in shock. What happens next had me riveted all evening and when I looked up, it was way past my bedtime, and I couldn't wait to begin reading it the following evening.
The story slips back and forth from the present, where we find Jacob in a nursing home, old and gnarled at the age of 91, or is it 93? He can't remember and it pisses him off no end. He's afraid because he's remembering the circus like it was yesterday and then he'll wake up and realize he's old. His memories are brought on due to the fact that a circus is coming to town, and it's being set up in the parking lot right next to the nursing home. All the elderly residents are watching its progress.
The story that takes place for 3 1/2 months of his young life is riveting, to say the least. I WILL tell you that he joins a circus. I know, that sounds odd, but it's where he ended up when he came out of shock.
There's a love story that involves a woman who seems unattainable and an elephant who is thought to be as "dumb as a sack of hammers" until Jacob shows her kindness and respect.
There's death, there's cruelty, but best of all, there's the steamy circus history that the author has researched very well. She even uses original photographs at the beginning of each chapter.
I really didn't think I'd like a book that this sort of backdrop, but I'm glad to have read it. The last page found me with a smile on my face, and I actually laughed out loud with glee at the end.
I like a book that makes me feel good at the end, don't you?