Before it was a movie starring Robert Pattinson and Reese Witherspoon, 'Water For Elephants' was a best-selling novel by Sara Gruen.

'Water for Elephants' is the story of Jacob, a veterinary student who joins the circus after his parents' tragic deaths. There, he falls in love with Marlena, the wife of the circus' owner. The film version of 'Water for Elephants' will be released on April 22. To warm up, here are some of our favorite touching and romantic quotes from the novel.
"I cling to my anger with every ounce of humanity left in my ruined body, but it's no use. It slips away, like a wave from shore. I am pondering this sad fact when I realize the blackness of sleep is circling my head. It's been there awhile, biding it's time and growing closer with each revolution. I give up on rage, which at this point has become a formality, and make a mental note to get angry again in the morning. Then I let myself drift, because there's really no fighting it." (p. 69)

"She speaks without need or even room for response, so I simply hold her and stroke her hair. She talks of the pain, grief and horror of the past four years; of learning to cope with being the wife of a man so violent and unpredictable his touch made her skin crawl and of thinking, until quite recently, that she'd finally managed to do that. And then, finally, of how my appearance had forced her to realize she hadn't learned to cope at all." (p. 272)

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"Age is a terrible thief. Just when you're getting the hang of life, it knocks your legs out from under you and stoops your back. It makes you ache and muddies your head and silently spreads cancer throughout your spouse."

"We lean against the wall in silence, still holding hands. After about an hour she falls asleep, sliding down until her head rests on my shoulder. I remain awake, every fiber of my body aware of her proximity." (p. 253)

"Sometimes when you get older --- and I'm not talking about you, I'm talking generally, because everyone ages differently -- things you think on and wish on start to seem real. And then you believe them, and before you know it they're a part of your history, and if someone challenges you on them and says they're not true --- why, then you get offended. Because you don't remember the first part." (p. 176)

"Even so, I wonder whether our affair isn't obvious. It seems to me that the bonds between us must be visible." (p. 280)

"Although there are times I'd give anything to have her back, I'm glad she went first. Losing her was like being cleft down the middle. It was the moment it all ended for me, and I wouldn't have wanted her to go through that. Being the survivor stinks."

"With a secret like that, at some point the secret itself becomes irrelevant. The fact that you kept it does not." (p. 327)

"My real stories are all out of date. So what if I can speak firsthand about the Spanish flu, the advent of the automobile, world wars, cold wars, guerrilla wars, and Sputnik-that's all ancient history now. But what else do I have to offer? Nothing happens to me anymore." (p. 110)

What is your favorite quote from 'Water for Elephants?' Tell us in the comments.
Water For Elephants
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A former veterinary student joins a traveling circus and falls in love with a performer. Read More

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