WATER FOR ELEPHANTS by Sara Gruen
This is the story of a man in his 90's recalling his days in the circus. It's an amazing tale of bravery, loyalty, love and survival. It's such a touching story. Here's the "official" synopsis from the author's website:
"As a young man, Jacob Jankowski was tossed by fate onto a rickety train that was home to the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth. It was the early part of the great Depression, and for Jacob, now ninety, the circus world he remembers was both his salvation and a living hell. A veterinary student just shy of a degree, he was put in charge of caring for the circus menagerie.It was there that he met Marlena, the beautiful equestrian star married to August, the charismatic but twisted animal trainer. And he met Rosie, an untrainable elephant who was the great gray hope for this third-rate traveling show. The bond that grew among this unlikely trio was one of love and trust, and, ultimately, it was their only hope for survival."
ESCAPE by Carolyn Jessop with Laura Palmer
This is another survival story, but in a completely different way. She was fighting for her life and the lives of her 8 children from her abusive husband. She was part of the FLDS and was wife number four for Merril Jessop.
The book details her youth, the arranged marriage, the birth of her children and getting out and adjusting to life on the outside. A must read!
The "official" synopsis:
From Publishers Weekly
Seventeen years after being forced into a polygamous marriage, Jessop escaped from the cultlike Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints with her eight children. She recounts the horrid events that led her to break free from the oppressive world she knew and how she has managed to survive since escaping, despite threats and legal battles with her husband and the Church. Though sometimes her retelling overflows with colorful foreshadowing and commentary on how exceptional she is, the everyday details she reveals about this polygamous society are devastating and tragic. Frasier delivers Jessop's words in a soft voice that develops intriguingly from an innocent and naïve tone into a more assertive and self-confident one that mirrors Jessop's journey. She maintains the same rhythm, but through the inspired words of the text, she really embraces Jessop's persona. The bonus telephone interview with Jessop on the final disc suffers from poor sound quality and, unfortunately, doesn't add any new information. Simultaneous release with the Doubleday hardcover.
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