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Location: Vero Beach, Florida, United States

My name is Pat and I live in Florida. My skin will never be smooth again and my hair will never see color. I enjoy collecting autographs and playing in Paint Shop Pro.,along with reading and writing. Sometimes, I enjoy myself by doing volunteer "work" helping celebrities at autograph shows. I love animals and at one time I did volunteer work for Tippi Hedren's Shambala Preserve.

Monday, November 05, 2007

A Great Read for Everyone

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen.
Paperback: 350 pages
Publisher: Algonquin Books (April 9, 2007)
ISBN-10: 1565125606

If you like to listen to someone talk and tell you a story.. this book is for you.
Other than knowing this book is a New York Times Best Seller and it had to do with a circus I didn't really know much about it. Whenever I saw a review, it was always raved about so I thought I'd give it a shot. Since reading this book, I can safely say that it deserves all the raves it gets!
This is not my typical type of book, so I was surprised that I had such a hard time setting it down for very long.
The book is about Jacob, a man in his 90's, living in a nursing home who has flashbacks about his life, his love, his friendships, and the animals with the circus. When he's not remembering his life back then he is in the present, unhappily, at the nursing home.
I have to admit, since my brother is in and out of rehab/ nursing homes on a regular basis, and the fact that I am old... the parts that describe the nursing home and how the inhabitants feel hit things right on the mark, and I found myself somewhat depressed thinking that this is how the majority of us elderly will wind up. But the story he tells is fascinating and told in a voice that makes you feel you are right there with him.
Before I close this, let me introduce you to Jacob. The first paragraph of the first chapter reads thus:
I am ninety. Or ninety-three. One or the other.
When you've five, you know your age down tot he month. Even in your twenties you know how old you are. I'm twenty-three, you say, or maybe twenty-seven. But then in your thirties something strange starts to happen. It's a mere hiccup at first, an instant of hesitation. How old are you? Oh, I'm--- you start confidently, but then you stop. You were going to say thirty-three, but you're not. You're thirty-five. And then you're bothered, because you wonder if this is the beginning of the end. It is, of course, but it's decades before you admit it.
I guess I can give no more recommendation, other that to say, it held me so tightly that I read thiswhole book in one weekend... and that's not natural for me!


Blogger OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

This sounds like a wonderful book, Pat...Somewhat depressing, if you are of a certain age---OY! But, quite wonderful, never-the-less...I will have to check it out.
I know I have heard the name before but cannot remember what was said.....Thanks for the 'Heads Up'....!

12:03 PM  
Blogger DesLily said...

Naomi:.. ahhh, but there's a surprise ending!! lol

1:28 PM  
Blogger cj said...

This is in my TBR pile. I need to move it closer to the top.

And the quote is so very true, isn't it? I now have to think about how old I am. 48? Me? Yikes!


8:38 AM  
Blogger Nymeth said...

I know a lot of people love this book, but until now I didn't know what it actually was about. It sounds very powerful and moving. Thanks for the beautiful review.

1:54 PM  
Blogger Cath said...

I saw this somewhere recently - all I have to do is remember where. Another symptom of old age! It's only since I hit 45 that I can't remember how old I am. These days I have to think whether I'm 53 or 54 (54). And remembering my daughters' ages isn't automatic anymore either.

6:55 PM  
Blogger DesLily said...

cj: oh yeah you can count on it being true! lol

nymeth: it was such an easy read and you find you just want to keep reading.

Cath: I don't think I know anyone that doesn't suffer from some sort of CRS! (can't remember sh*t)

7:45 PM  

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