Just an update... I finished Water for Elephants earlier this morning. As I neared the end of the novel I was sad due to the events which were taking place, but the book resolved itself. I was very happy with the ending. The part of the story-line which was sad to me was the part which followed the "ninety or ninety-three" year old Jacob. He was very upset and depressed because of his life in the nursing/assisted living home and the events which cause him to miss the circus; however, things work out, and it turns out to be a rather happy ending. Again, some of the parts of the book were very vulgar and descriptive. I loved the story, but I am not sure I would even be comfortable teaching this novel.