From SaraGruen.com ~ As a young man, Jacob Jankowski was tossed by fate onto a rickety train that was home to the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth. It was the early part of the great Depression, and for Jacob, now ninety, the circus world he remembers was both his salvation and a living hell. A veterinary student just shy of a degree, he was put in charge of caring for the circus menagerie.
It was there that he met Marlena, the beautiful equestrian star married to August, the charismatic but twisted animal trainer. And he met Rosie, an untrainable elephant who was the great gray hope for this third-rate traveling show. The bond that grew among this unlikely trio was one of love and trust, and, ultimately, it was their only hope for survival.
I had started reading this book a couple years ago. I couldn't get into it and gave up after a couple chapters.
I recently picked it up again and enjoyed it. I guess I was in a different frame of mind than before. I found the story moved along at a quick pace and it kept my interest. I cared about the characters.
I found the history of the circus interesting. I'm so glad I wasn't around in those days and had to endure what they did.
My only problem with this book was the amount of abuse of animals, especially with Rosie the elephant. I know it was a key to the story but it was hard to read.
The movie version with Robert Pattison, Reese Witherspoon and Christoph Waltz (I bet he'll be fabulous as August) is coming out in a couple weeks. I'm not sure whether I'll go see it because of the animal abuse.