Last night our book club met at Connie’s to discuss Water for Elephants, and as usual, her book theme treats were a real hit. What better goodies to serve than peanuts, popcorn, and cotton candy when discussing a book about the circus?

Well, actually the book was about the circus AND a lot more. Love was a theme. So were survival, cruelty, man’s inhumanity to man, and the importance of living one’s life to the fullest right up until the end…or into one’s 90s at least. That’s how old Jacob is at the end of the novel, and rather than spend one more day in the nursing home eating bland food and traveling basically from bed to dining room and back again day after uneventful day, he…well, why not read it for yourself to find out? He’s my current role model.

I could say quite a bit about this book, but I’m going to limit my comments tonight to Rosie the elephant. What a gal! Until reading the book, I never thought that much about elephants and their personalities and abilities, but now my eyes have been opened. As I’ve walked around my home today carrying out the mundane tasks of daily living, I’ve been pleasantly surprised at the number of elephants I have living (in a figurative sense) here. There are the three carved wooden ones that Dr. Ekechukwu brought me back from Nigeria that are perched on the bookshelf. Then there’s my little mosaic one that my son brought back from Spain; it sits on the window sill of the bathroom and gazes out at the openness of the backyard. On a cabinet in that same bathroom sits a tiny silver elephant that serves as a ring holder; it was a stocking stuffer from DH. Then tonight as I walked through the breezeway, I glanced a pillow recently purchased from the Red Door Thrift Store (love that place) that has elephants and zebras on it.

What I’m trying to say is that they are all special and that they all represent Rosie to me now. She was something! Although Rosie was funny and entertaining, she could be a force to be reckoned with. She was tough and endured much, and yet in the end she prevailed. If you want to know more, read this book.

Has anyone out there read the book? What did you think about it? Was Rosie one of  your heroes too? What about Jacob? Marlena? Big Al? Did reading it make you want to go to a circus?