Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Turn the Page Tuesday ~ Impossible

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. It was a handwritten letter from her mother-her real mother, Miranda. It was not a birthday letter, or at least, not one in the usual sense. It was a letter from the past, written by Miranda to her daughter before Lucy was born, and it had been hidden in the hope that Lucy would find it in time for it to help her.
~Nancy Werlin

So begins the novel Impossible by Nancy Werlin. The cover of this book grabbed me and drew me in. I had to read it, just as Gregory Maguire says in a review on the front. "A haunting, thrilling romantic puzzle. Just read it." So I did.

Nancy Werlin has written this novel with the folk song "Scarborough Fair" as her inspiration. Here are her own words on her work:
"The novel had begun taking shape for me sometime in the mid-1990's. I had been thinking about the ballad "Scarbourough Fair," as recorded by Simon and Garfunkel. As a teenager, I found the song beautiful and sad and oh-so-romantic.
Listening to the lyrics as an adult, though, I was taken aback. The man demands one impossible task after another from the woman; and if she doesn't deliver, then she's no "true love" of his. I thought: There's no way that woman can prove herself to that man; he's already made up his mind. Did she do him wrong? What's the story?"

So Nancy made up the story. It is full of mystery, fantasy, romance and evil. A family curse dating back many generations to Ireland, if you choose to believe in curses, threatens to take Lucy's sanity by the time she turns 18, but will true love be able to save her? Maybe true love and being able to tackle and solve the three impossible tasks that the song and the family curse impart. This novel deals with some tough issues - rape, mental illness, foster families and teen pregnancy along with the fantasy and romance.

I didn't realize, when I bought this book, that it was a young adult book, but it was good and I really enjoyed it, wishing I wasn't done once I had finished it. It really is kind of haunting and, for those of us who wish for a little magic in the world, makes us ponder if sometimes there are things out there that we can't see. Not an evil elf king, but maybe a little bit of sparkly magic somewhere....

Happy happy reading and don't forget to pop over to Some of a Kind to see more Turn the Page Tuesday. I think a Christmas story or two is in order for me this coming month.


Adrienne said...

OH wow. What a book. Add that one to the list as well!

I love your new header - beautiful!

~ The Jolly Bee ~ said...

Paula -- Your new picture is wonderful. How did you make out with the autumn bench scene? Did you win TWC competition? Your book choice sounds great. Very intriguing. By the way, the book you won is in the mail. Let me know when you receive it.

Debi said...

This does sound good... I'll add it to my stack of must reads... it's about to topple off the chair!!!

Brittany said...

Sounds like a good book! What did you do with it after you finished? Your summary made me think of that one book, Into the Blue I think, where he went back in time and fell in love with the woman and then found himself back in his own time. I know the books aren't that similar but that one was also a young reader and when I finished I didn't want to be done. I still think about it all the time because it had such a great affect on me. I read it over a year ago!

Stacey's Treasures said...

This sounds like my kind of book!
"Scarborough Fair" is a very pretty song. I never thought of it the way it is described here.

calicodaisy said...

Would you recommend this book for my 17-year-old daughter? She really is drawn to books where someone is dealing with hard things -- She would like to go into psychology and counseling, so that fits. However, I worry sometimes about what the underlying current is with authors that I am unfamiliar with. What do you think? -- michele

calicodaisy said...

Paula -- Thanks for this review and your advice to me. I bought the book for one of Camille's Christmas presents, and she read it right up and loved it. She is going to check out some more books by the same author. I think I will read it now. -- michele