I’ve been enjoying Sara Gruen’s novel Water for Elephants. Memories, both heartbreaking and heartwarming, sustain Jake Jankowski, who has cared for the menagerie at the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth. Jake’s story hurtles from scene to scene, interspersed with his recognition of–and fear of–becoming an old man. He narrates the book looking back, as a ninety-something-old. The ending, while unexpected and farfetched, has you rooting for Jake and cheering on his drive for independence and dignity.
Ann August is an educator who lives outside Washington, D.C.
(The Los Angeles Times reports on author Sara Gruen’s attendance at the recent New York premiere of the film “Water for Elephants” here.)