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Impossible by Nancy Werlin
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Impossible (2008)

by Nancy Werlin

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Impossible Series (1)

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1,3561065,677 (3.77)32
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Inspired by the ballad "Scarborough Fair," Impossible is the story of Lucy who has lived her whole life raised by foster parents and knowing that the crazy woman pushing a shopping cart (sometimes) around town is her mother.

It's not until she's seventeen, though, that she connects her mother with the letter six-year-old Lucy found hidden away in her room. The letter that will tell her more than she possibly ever wanted to know about the women in her family, her own fate, what really happened to her mother, and what she must do to change her destiny. (I'm being vague again but I didn't want to paste in the Amazon summary because I thought it told a lot of the story right off the bat...maybe I'm just being picky.)

While this wasn't this amazing character driven story (Zach was Lucy's best friend and the main male character but I didn't really feel the chemistry there; they didn't not work together, but if a new male character had been introduced my heart wouldn't have broken for them), it was very good. The plot relied a good bit on folklore and mythology and that was done extremely well and the way each piece built on the previous ones and everything eventually added up all worked very well for me. It all made for a great mystery.

So, while it might be true that if you took the mystery out and wrote a general fiction or teen romance with the same characters it wouldn't work, that doesn't matter because this wasn't general fic or romance. I did, though, find myself consistently wondering just what a certain element of the 'mystery' was going to mean, how something was going to play out or just how they were going to solve some problem. It was a very creative book and very well researched and I truly enjoyed it-I'm going to have to look for more of Nancy Werlin's books.
( )
  BookSpot | May 18, 2015 |
An interesting premise, but unfortunately the characters are rather cardboard.

I wanted to like the story much more than I did, but I just couldn't seem to quite get into it ( )
  zephyrsky | Sep 30, 2014 |
Lucy is descended from a line of women who have been cursed by the elfin knight of "Scarborough Fair" fame ("The Elfin Knight" is an older name for that ballad) after their ancestor rebuffed him. Each woman in her turn becomes pregnant at 18 with a daughter and must strive, while pregnant to carry out the impossible tasks of the song. If they succeed, they'll be free; if they fail, they will go mad. No one has succeeded yet.

In folklore, when impossible tasks are set, the resolutions are usually like the resolutions of a riddle. I remember, for instance, a fairytale in which someone had to appear before a king dressed but undressed, and give him a gift, but not give him a gift. She arrived dressed in a fishing net--she was wearing the net, and yet was still naked--and gave him a bird that, as she handed it to him, flew away. It's fun seeing how people subvert the demands. Lucy's solutions seem more literal-minded than this, but I did enjoy seeing her and her family work out how to create a shirt without a seam or fine needlework.

And that brings me to a unique strength of this story: the fact that Lucy's family and love interest come to her aid. Everyone works together to help her get these tasks done. Love and family support make a difference.

A weak point, for me, about the story was Lucy's age. She's a high school student, but her thoughts and attitudes feel much more mature than that. The love story, too, wasn't quite for me. I liked the character of her love interest, but the **fact** of the love story--entailing early marriage to bring up the baby that she has to bear--was just not for me.

Still, I do like seeing people play with old ballads, and I was glad to read this.
( )
  FrancescaForrest | May 12, 2014 |
Lucy is descended from a line of women who have been cursed by the elfin knight of "Scarborough Fair" fame ("The Elfin Knight" is an older name for that ballad) after their ancestor rebuffed him. Each woman in her turn becomes pregnant at 18 with a daughter and must strive, while pregnant to carry out the impossible tasks of the song. If they succeed, they'll be free; if they fail, they will go mad. No one has succeeded yet.

In folklore, when impossible tasks are set, the resolutions are usually like the resolutions of a riddle. I remember, for instance, a fairytale in which someone had to appear before a king dressed but undressed, and give him a gift, but not give him a gift. She arrived dressed in a fishing net--she was wearing the net, and yet was still naked--and gave him a bird that, as she handed it to him, flew away. It's fun seeing how people subvert the demands. Lucy's solutions seem more literal-minded than this, but I did enjoy seeing her and her family work out how to create a shirt without a seam or fine needlework.

And that brings me to a unique strength of this story: the fact that Lucy's family and love interest come to her aid. Everyone works together to help her get these tasks done. Love and family support make a difference.

A weak point, for me, about the story was Lucy's age. She's a high school student, but her thoughts and attitudes feel much more mature than that. The love story, too, wasn't quite for me. I liked the character of her love interest, but the **fact** of the love story--entailing early marriage to bring up the baby that she has to bear--was just not for me.

Still, I do like seeing people play with old ballads, and I was glad to read this.
( )
  FrancescaForrest | May 12, 2014 |
My friend said it best. Great concept, but the writing didn't live up to it. ( )
  reckshow | Jan 21, 2014 |
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» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Nancy Werlinprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Durante, EmilyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For my mother
Elaine Sylvia Romotsky Werlin
with love
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On the evening of Lucy Scarborough's seventh birthday, after the biggest party the neighborhood had seen since, well, Lucy's sixth birthday, Lucy got one last unexpected gift.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0803730020, Hardcover)


Lucy has nine months to break an ancient curse in order to save both herself and her unborn daughter.

Inspired by the ballad “Scarborough Fair,” this riveting novel combines suspense, fantasy, and romance for an intensely page-turning and masterfully original tale.

Lucy is seventeen when she discovers that the women of her family have been cursed through the generations, forced to attempt three seemingly impossible tasks or to fall into madness upon their child’s birth. But Lucy is the first girl who won’t be alone as she tackles the list. She has her fiercely protective foster parents and her childhood friend Zach beside her. Do they have love and strength enough to overcome an age-old evil?

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:02:45 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

When seventeen-year-old Lucy discovers her family is under an ancient curse by an evil Elfin Knight, she realizes to break the curse she must perform three impossible tasks before her daughter is born in order to save them both.

» see all 4 descriptions

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