Our View From Here

Perspectives of Five Women

A Welcome Diversion

on April 28, 2011

Warning!! Possible Spoilers….Maybe…Possibly…

I apologize now. I am not quite sure how to approach this post. I’ve never been in a book club and haven’t had to write my thoughts on a book since grade school. In school we were taught to read and analyze what we were reading. Look for the hidden meaning the author wanted you to find. Writing a report about the reflection of society presented within the text blah blah blah. Call me a simpleton fine. Here is how I tend to look at books and the depth of my analysis when reading them. Was it a good story? Did it draw me in to the point where I stayed up too late reading it wanting to know what happened? Did it feel like a relaxing escape?

So in the Christine method of Book Analysis. Yes, yes, and yes.

Usually if friends or relatives recommend a book I’m willing to give it a shot. Normally the recommendations come from my sister. I’d heard of Water for Elephants but had no idea what I was in for when I opened it up. Unfortunately due to the commercial push for the movie that opened last week I already had a mental picture of the two leads. That was the most frustrating part for me. I like when I can let my mind decide what the characters look like, not a Hollywood Casting director.

I like that stories have the power to transport us to different time. Show us how life was lived in a different perspective from what you’re taught in grade school history and aspects of that time that just don’t make it into the history textbooks. In this case the Train Circuses from the Depression Era. The trials and tribulations the people had to go through. I find it all fascinating. It’s a way to imagine a life so different from your own. I was mildly envious of the “glamorous” travel of going from town to town to see the country. Obviously though, especially trying to put on a circus during the depression there is nothing glamorous about it. The conditions people were forced to live in but accepted it because at least they had a job and were fed regularly. It really makes you appreciate what you have. It really helped to read it the past few weeks when work has been a horrendous torrent of insanity. I escaped to this book and was reminded that people have survived and dealt with much worse.

To sum up. It was a good book. I enjoyed the story very much. The author did a wonderful job grabbing my attention in the beginning by giving a 2 page teaser of the climax of the story. I read through the book curious as to what leads to the insanity that was the opening few pages…and then got really confused when Chapter 1 took place in a nursing home. I always like it when I can curl up with a book that takes me away from where I am for a little while. Water for Elephants totally fulfills that requirement…I  feel like I just wrote one of those plugs they stick on the back cover. Sorry for that.

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