Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
When Jacob Jankowski was told that his parents had been killed in an accident, he walks out before his final veterinary exam at university and never goes back. He finds work on a travelling circus where his animal know how proves invaluable and his lack of qualification makes him an affordable option.
Years later, as circus sets up in the park across from his rest home, the scene is set for Jacob to reflect on his life and soon you realize that his months on the circus are the most memorable and impressionable time in his life.
This well researched story of an era in traveling circus in the America depression is well told. There is cruelty, passion, loyalty and betrayal. There is Rosy the elephant of the title who Jacob tries to understand. The wife of the owner who tempts him with her beauty and her dependance. The rough characters who work the circus and the constant travel and the hardship of the depression era.
Recommended for readers 16+. When I finished this book I turned it over and realized it was written by a women I was quite surprized, it was such a convincing read as if the elderly gentleman had published his memoirs.