Overcome with grief after the tragic death of his parents Jacob drops out of vet school and finds himself aboard a circus train. It does not take long for him to fall in love with the beautiful performer Marlena. The only problem is the fact that Marlena is married, and to the erratic head animal trainer August no less. Water For Elephants is a love story, told from the perspective of a ninety (or ninety-three) year old Jacob who has been shut away to a retirement home.
This book let me down. It starts off brilliantly, and you expect it to turn into something even better but the best parts are the, sadly, the beginning. Not to say that this book is bad – it is simply ordinary. A Hollywood book. I bet the film was brilliant, but the book is not much more than a storyline with characters you come to like but do not befriend.
It was hard to believe that the ninety (or ninety-three) year old Jacob and the twenty-two year old Jacob were the same person. The older Jacob is slightly bitter and tends to use a lot of dark humour whereas the younger Jacob is a lot more innocent and very passionate. I actually liked both Jacobs, and another character I liked even more was Walter who no one cared much about. Not even Jacob.
Let me tell you something about this book that I find unrealistic… But I think this is just me.
How do the characters fall in love so easily? How did Jacob fall in love with Marlena at first sight? How did Marlena decide to marry August in such a short time span? Why can’t I ever make such quick decisions and be happy with them? But reader, I know myself well. I suffer from a severe case of undecisiveness and overthinking. There is no cure. I am hopelessly lost.
I’m sick of all this love business though. It’s far too difficult, keeping up with the people you like and the people who like you back and who likes who and whatnot. Honestly, what I really need is a good friend. A close friend. Preferably a person of the same gender. Until I find one, I suppose you, reader, will have to keep me company. If you’re there, that is… There’s nothing worse than being lonely in cyberspace.