Thanks to Harpercollins for sending me the ARC.
The Elephant Keeper- Christopher Nicholson
I asked the sailor what an Elephant looked like; he replied that it was like nothing on earth. In the middle of the 18th century, a ship docks at Bristol with an extraordinary cargo: two young elephants. Bought by a wealthy landowner, they are taken to his estate in the English countryside. A stable boy, Tom Page, is given the task of caring for them. The Elephant Keeper is Tom's account of his life with the elephants. As the years pass, and as they journey across England, his relationship with the female elephant deepens in a startling manner. Along the way they meet incredulity, distrust and tragedy, and it is only their understanding of each other that keeps them together.
The Elephant Keeper set in the 18th century is about a caretaker and his relationship with two elephants Timothy and Jenny. It's about the bond between them, the training, and the keeping. The devotion to Timothy and Jenny is charming, and engaging. From the very beginning Tom is a very likable character, though as the story progresses you begin to wonder if Tom has lost his marbles. The story gets wierd and loses momentum half way through. The "conversations" between Tom and the elephant were ridiculous, but if the author was trying to convey a love between them, well, he certainly did that. The writing was consistant with the time period. At times the story felt disjointed, but it wasn't so much so that you could get lost. Final word, The Elephant Keeper wasn't a hit, but it wasn't a miss either. I would give the author another try.
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: William Morrow (August 4, 2009)
The Elephant Keeper released August 4th.