I love being in a book club because I am prompted to read books that I probably would never have choosen to read on my own. I also love to get a variety of different perspectives from other people on the book who are reading along with me. Of course there is also the added bonus of meeting and establishing new friendships within the group.
This months book choice was Water for Elephants, which was written by Sara Gruven. As it happened I read this book a couple of months before and had already added it to my favorite book list. It's one of those books, at least for me, that you just can't put down. It takes you back to the 1920's and into life in a circus. The author has done research on the circus, circus animals, and circus people. She has incorporated the history and many of these stories into her book. I felt like I was actually living on a circus train among the animals. It is the story of people who show tremendous amounts of strength under terrible circumstances. It demonstrates so adequately, that when humans blatantly disappoint us we still have the capacity to love, especially when in comes to animals, which is why we see them so often used for they're theraputic affects in hospital settings and out reach programs. It inspired me to want to learn more about the old time circus, and about circus animals, in particular the elephant. I especially loved the captivating and charming character of Rosie. It was also interesting, and yet sad, to hear of Jacob's experiences in the nursing home. The book was touching to me in so many ways and I would highly recommend it to anyone who is looking for a good read.
For futher information, and to learn more about elephants and the Ringling Brother's Circus, you can go to the Elephant Santuary at www.elephants.com/scant.htm , or the Ringling Brother's Museum at www.ringling.org/about_museum.asp to take a visual tour. To learn more about the author you can access Sara gruven's web site at www.saragruen.com/home.html