There is animal cruelty, unscrupulous practices by the owner and manager of the circus, and unexplained disappearances of unneeded circus workers every so often. Jacob falls in love with an equestrian performer, Marlena, who is married to August, a circus boss. When August repeatedly beats the new elephant bull, Rosie. for not performing, Jacob and Marlena band together to protect the elephant and each other from the unscrupulous practices of August and the circus owner, Al.
Comments: I listened to the book on audio, expertly and entertainingly read by David Ledoux and John Randolph Jones, who were the voices of Jacob at age 90 and Jacob in his early 20s, remembering and telling the story.
Jacob at age 90 is delightful, telling us with humor his unhappiness with being confined to the nursing home where his family has placed him. Jacob at age 20 plus recounts his three and a half months with the Benzini Brothers Circus, his work with the animals, his love for Marlena, and how they survive the brutality of their bosses and environment.
I don't know if reading the book would have been as enjoyable as listening to the audio. I might have skipped over Jacob's complaints about his nursing home food and the other residents and missed a lot. Listening to the book being read was not at all boring but made Jacob endearing and made what he does at the end of his story entirely plausible.
Definitely a 5 star novel.
Challenges: 100+ Reading Challenge, Support your Local Library Challenge
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