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Water for Elephants is an atmospheric, gritty, and compelling novel of star-crossed lovers, set in the circus world circa 1932, by the bestselling author of Riding Lessons. When Jacob Jankowski, recently orphaned and suddenly adrift, jumps onto a passing train, he enters a world of freaks, grifters, and misfits, a second-rate circus struggling to survive during the Great Depression, making one-night stands in town after endless town. A veterinary student who almost earned his degree, Jacob is put in charge of caring for the circus menagerie. It is there that he meets Marlena, the beautiful young star of the equestrian act, who is married to August, the charismatic but twisted animal trainer. He also meets Rosie, an elephant who seems untrainable until he discovers a way to reach her. Beautifully written, Water for Elephants is illuminated by a wonderful sense of time and place. It tells a story of a love between two people that overcomes incredible odds in a world in which even love is a luxury that few can afford.
The author of I Know This Much Is True shares a holiday novella that begins by focusing on a feisty parochial school fifth grader named Felix Funicello as Christmas approaches in 1964. A vivid slice of 1960s life, a wise and witty holiday tale that celebrates where we've been - and how far we've come; measures what America has gained and what it has lost. (from Baker and Taylor, Inc.)