When Jacob learns that his parents were killed in an automobile accident, he can no longer focus on finishing his final exams at Cornell to become a vet. Instead, Jacob jumps on a train wanting to escape and winds up on a travelling circus train and experiences the travelling circus live in the 1930s. Jacob soon becomes the vet for the show and learns all about how the circus operates, friendship, and love.
The story is seamlessly told between past and present, as Jacob remembers his life in the circus when the circus starts across the street from his retirement home. He talks about Marlena, his love, and his "bull" (elephant) Rosie, which is a different tale of love and is just as endearing.
As soon as I started this book I couldn't put it down. The characters and animals grabbed me and the tale of living on a train was enchanting. This is one of the better books I've read this year and I've already recommended it to people!
First Line: "Only three people were left under the red and white awning of the grease joint: Grady, me, and the fry cook."