Jacob at 91... or 93: Jacob is in good health and sound mind (except that he can't quite remember if he is 91 or 93). He has been discarded by his children, and childrens children and is forced to put up with gabby old women and patronizing nurses in the nursing home. In the empty lot next door, tents are being erected. The circus has come to town.
Sara Gruen weaves an enchanting tale. The depression era circus provides an ideal backdrop for a young man at a crossroads in life. All the necessary elements are present: A forbidden love with the breathtaking Marlena - the horsetaming star of the show who dons pink sequins; A loveable, cantankerous elephant named Rosie; August, Jacobs spiteful boss; Walter, his midget roommate; Camel, the elderly drunkard; And, my favorite character... on occassion you get to hear from Jacob in his old age where he is a wonderfully lovable, grouchy thing of a man.