Mighty Mary


Meet Mighty Mary, the circus elephant who can do it all, from dancing to playing the trumpet.  She has spent most of her life under the captivity of one human or another, experiencing moments of brute force and brief glimpses of kindnesses.  However, there was once a time Mary ran free.  She spent the first part of her life with a herd of other elephants under the watchful eye of her mother.  Then one horrible day she is ripped from everything she loves, taken captive and shipped to America.  Told through the eyes of Mary, “Mighty Mary” is one elephant’s tale of grief, joy, work, friendship, pain, and performing under the Big Top.

“Mighty Mary” is an eloquently written story about an innocent animal taken from her home and mother, bringing a voice to an otherwise voiceless elephant.  Although the topic may open one’s eyes to the severity of animal abuse, the story goes too far.  The entirety of the novel is simply one overly descriptive act of animal cruelty after another, ending in one of the most gruesome and true event of animal abuse.  The addition of other narratives from the humans contributes little to the story, only adding to the appalling events happening to the animals.  To describe this book as entertainment or fiction is misleading.  Told mostly from Mary’s point of view, readers get a unique glimpse into what an animal possibly thinks and feels.  

Trigger warning for extreme animal cruelty and human abuse.

Amy Cefoldo