The Elephant Keeper

By Christopher Nicholson
(William Morrow, Hardcover, 9780061651601, 304pp.)

Publication Date: August 1, 2009

List Price: $24.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.
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Selected by Indie Booksellers for the August 2009 Indie Next List
“This story of two baby elephants and the young man who becomes their keeper is a great read, and Christopher Nicholson's exploration of the relationship between Tom, the elephant keeper, and Jenny the elephant is wonderful.”
-- Martha Arnett, Carpe Librum Booksellers, Knoxville, TN


Description

"I asked the sailor what an Elephant looked like; he replied that it was like nothing on earth."

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.

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