Brief Synopsis of Prologue-Chapter5:
Prologue: When the story begins we are introduced to a young Jacob in the circus. We know at that moment that something goes wrong during the circus, but we are not told what. All we know is that Jacob is still haunted by this event later in life.
Chapter 1: The story officially begins with Jacob as an old man in a rest home. The residents of the rest home are anticipating a circus coming to town. They are anxiously watching as the circus gets set up. Jacob is a feisty old bird, and soon gets into an argument with one of the other residents who claims that he used to work for the circus. Jacob knows this isn't true because the man claims that he used to carry water for the elephants. Jacob knows this isn't true because elephants require too much water. There is no way a man could carry the amount of water that the elephants need. As the fight ensues, Jacob is scolded by one of the nurses and is taken to his room to finish his dinner. The ghosts of his past come back to haunt him and he starts to remember.
Chapter 2: This is where we are introduced to college Jacob. He is enrolled in his last year and last semester of Cornell Veterinary school. We learn that he has morals and is a good boy. While he is sitting in class, he is called out and told that his parents have been in an automobile accident and have died. Through the course of this chapter we learn that because of the depression his parents have mortgaged their home to pay for his college tuition and the bank needs to take everything they have to pay for their debts. Jacob is left with nothing. No family, no Veterinary practice to take over (his father was a vet), and no home to return to after the semester is over at Cornell. Jacob s sitting taking his final exams, when he can't concentrate and due to the pain and numbness of extreme loss just gets up and leaves the test, knowing that if he does, he won't be able to retake them and will never become a vet. He leaves and starts walking. He walks, and walks, and walks until he reaches the edge of town. He is not sure what he is going to do when a train passes by and he decides to jump on. He is met by 4 men, one of which wants to throw him off immediately. They tell him that he has landed on a circus train, and they let him stay the night.
Chapters 3, 4,: A man named Camel takes Jacob under his wing and decides to try and get him a job on the circus. Jacob performs odd jobs such as shoveling manure and guarding the Cooch tent. Which proves to be quite an experience for him, since he has never seen a woman naked (it will be interesting to see if this scene makes into the movie). During this time, Jacob and Marlena first see each other and can't seem to look away from each other. Finally, Jacob gets in front of Big Al, the ringmaster. He gives Jacob a shot at dong some veterinary work. He is to fix Marlena's horse. If the horse survives he's hired. If not, he is gone.
Chapter 5: We are back at the nursing home with Jacob. The residents are still awaiting the arrival of the circus. Since Jacob caused a ruckus the other night, they make him see a psychologist and he prescribes medication for him, because they think he is depressed. Jacob thinks they are just trying to turn him into one of the catatonic residents.
So what are you thinking of the story so far? Do you like Jacob's character? Did Jacob losing his parents endear you to him?
During the next week we will be reading Chapters 6-11. Enjoy!