This book I really just read because I saw the movie version, and it was the only book I recognized that I could get for free on my kindle. The movie was just okay to me, pretty boring and took me like 3 tries to finish watching it so I thought the novel would be better.
I liked how the novel went back and forth with Jacob in his present day self, old and left at some nursing home as his kids couldn't take him in, and then his flash backs to what his life was like back when he worked on a circus. The scenes of his life in the nursing home were so heart wrenching and real, reminded me of when my great aunt was in one and just the more lonely and senile she got, just because of where she was.
The book was a decent read, it kept me pushing through to hear more about Jacob and Rosie, the elephant. I actually felt that the elephant wasn't as big of an element in the book as it was in the movie, which is interesting. Especially as the book is literally titled Water for Elephants.