Water for Elephants is a romantic book about a young, unlicensed vet. After his parent's death he had traveled with no money and nowhere to go. He ends up at this circus where he sees the love of his life, Marlena, and her beloved white horse. After the show he comes across a commotion with Marlena and her husband August, the Ringleader, about the horse's performance. August thought beating the horse would solve the world's problems. Jacob came up and asked if he could help, Marlena refused but August was all for it. Come to find out the horse was extremely hurt and had to be put down. Jacob imediatly landed a job as the circus vet. The heartbroken Marlena hated Jacob, until August bought an elephant, not just to make Marlena happy but to upstage the Ringling brothers. Rosie, Marlena's new love, had made a wonderful act once Jacob discovered the disobedient elephant only understood German. Jacob being the only one who knows German, has yet to figure out that this advantage will come more useful in time.