Water For Elephants was the chosen book for September’s meeting and one which most members found easy to read. Most where impressed with the historical research that had been done by the author, which made the novel more believable and an interesting story to tell.
Although some of us found the novel a little disjointed when it swapped from the younger to the elder Jacob, I also had a problem with the two being so different in character, but members assured me this came with age! This led into a conversation about the lack of respect for the elderly society, of which we all disagreed with!
We also discussed how impracticable it would have been for elderly Jacob to suddenly up sticks and run away to the circus and some thought this spoilt the ending to the book and made it too twee.
The circus itself proved quite a talking point, with some members recalling going as a child and the magic of everything appearing overnight and then disappearing as quick after the last show. We also thought it quite ironic that the ‘Stars and Stripes’ was played as a warning that something had happened.
Although we thought Marlena was a convincing character, we also felt that she could have been developed more and did question why Jacob had fallen in love with her. Jacob’s character was also devoid of feeling, emphasised when he lost everything and didn’t seem to reflect on what he had lost.
All in all, I think we agreed that this was a good read and one in which many of us would have not chosen to read ourselves.