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Katherine Garbera

Water for Elephants: A Novel

Water for Elephants - Sara Gruen Water for Elephants is utterly safe and predictable. It's a love story set in a traveling circus in the 1930s, and for a book that touches on abusive relationships, mental illness, poverty, and the subjugation of the economically weak, it is disappointingly mundane and in no way challenges how we think about those things. (The word "pap" comes to mind.) Sara Gruen's writing isn't bad, but it's not extraordinary either. For what it's worth, her enthusiasm for the subject and her research shines through and gives the book a kind of cheerfulness that relieves the tedium. But that's not enough to make this a good book.(If you're looking for a few hours of simple entertainment that won't tax you in anyway, this book would do fine.)