For those who don't know, here's a quick summary of the book (no spoilers - don't worry):
Jacob is ninety-something and in assisted living. In his youth, he walked out of his final exams and a promising career as a veterinarian and hopped a circus train. His experiences on the train - and back in the present day - are the focus of the story.First let me say why I did not want to read this book. Here is a list of my reasons:
- I don't like the circus ... is it just me, or are clowns really creepy?
- I'm not a 'go along with the crowd' person, so I don't like to read what everyone else is reading
- It just didn't sound interesting and I thought it would be a waste of time.
Let me just say that I LOVED this book. Since I'm in a list mood today, here a list of why I loved this book:
- Gruen's portrayal of the main character as an elderly man in assisted living were amazing! I felt like I WAS Jacob, feeling what he felt, dealing with the indignities of old age. I would have read the book for that alone.
- Life on a circus train was crazy and cruel ... I could have guess this, but reading it was even better.
- My copy included an interview with the author in which she explains that all the crazy, far-fetched things she included in the book were based on facts. I LOVE IT when authors tell you what's true and not true in their historical fiction.
- The Depression Era is fascinating to me. I doubt I would have enjoyed this book as much had it been set in another time period.
- I really liked the ending. I mean I REALLY liked the ending. That's not giving anything away, don't worry!
Have you read this? Reviewed it? Let me know and I'll add your link to this post.
Here's a review by Devourer of Books. And this online book club did a blog-book-tour for this book. The Inside Cover chose it for one of her online book clubs. Passion for the Page shares her favorite passages and lots of other reviews too. There's a thorough review at My Year of Reading Seriously. It wasn't a hit for The Bluestockings though.