Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Elephant Awareness Month | Book Club Selection - The Elephant Keeper


August is the month where we can celebrate these beautiful creatures, learn more about them, what we can do to enhance their conservation, understand the struggles that this species has faced over the years, and just overall know what we can do to ensure their place on the planet. I'm so excited to celebrate this month for the second year now here on the blog and over on my YouTube channel and I hope you will join me in raising awareness of the need for conservation for elephants! If you'd like to know more information about how you can get involved, check out World Elephant Day online. I always have a link to their page on my blog under the "Community" section of my sidebar - just click the button with the elephant! :)

Like last year, I wanted to select a book to read through August that has elephants as its central focus so I can learn a bit more about them. Last year I selected Love, Life, and Elephants by Dame Daphne Sheldrick (review can be found here) which was an excellent memoir of her time raising orphaned animals in Kenya with her husband David (founder of the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust). This year I decided to go with The Elephant Keeper by Christopher Nicholson - a fictional novel set in 18th century England about a boy who cares for elephants and learns form relationships and communicate with them.

"England, 1766: After a long voyage from the East Indies, a ship docks in Bristol, England, and rumor quickly spreads about its unusual cargo—some say a mermaid is on board. A crowd forms, hoping to catch a glimpse of the magical creature. One crate after another is unpacked: a zebra, a leopard, and a baboon. There's no mermaid, but in the final two crates is something almost as magical—a pair of young elephants, in poor health but alive. 
Seeing a unique opportunity, a wealthy sugar merchant purchases the elephants for his country estate and turns their care over to a young stable boy, Tom Page. Tom's family has long cared for horses, but an elephant is something different altogether. It takes time for Tom and the elephants to understand one another, but to the surprise of everyone on the estate, a remarkable bond is formed. 
The Elephant Keeper, the story of Tom and the elephants, in Tom's own words, moves from the green fields and woods of the English countryside to the dark streets and alleys of late-eighteenth-century London, reflecting both the beauty and the violence of the age. Nicholson's lush writing and deft storytelling complement a captivating tale of love and loyalty between one man and the two elephants that change the lives of all who meet them."

I've already started reading this book and I am really enjoying it so far. I'm excited to hear more about Tom's story, and I'm pretty sure this book will probably make me sob by the end. I will be reviewing this title at the end of the month, but I would love to have you all read along with me (it's currently $1.99 for the Kindle edition)! Let me know if you've read this book or if you'll be reading along with me this month in the comments!

1 comment:

  1. That really sounds like the type of book I'd enjoy. I'll have to add it to the list! I can't wait to read your review of it. Thanks for sharing Riley!