Impossible by Nancy Werlin

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Impossible by Nancy Werlin

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Category: Teens
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Amanda Kane
Reviewed by Amanda Kane
Summary: A fascinating modern take on a traditional fairytale.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 288 Date: March 2010
Publisher: Puffin Books
ISBN: 978-0141330303

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Life is just as it should be for Lucy Scarborough. She lives with loving foster parents and at seventeen is looking forward to attending prom with her friends and her date, who has definite boyfriend potential. The only fly in the ointment is Miranda Scarborough, Lucy's birth mother who, having given birth to Lucy at eighteen, promptly went mad and vanished from Lucy's life leaving her in the care of Leo and Soledad MarKowitz. Lucy's life has been plagued by unwanted visits from Miranda who seems determined to cause as much embarrassment as possible.

However, things are about to change for Lucy Scarborough when her prom night turns into a nightmare. Not only is Lucy raped but she discovers that the Scarborough girls are the victims of a curse placed upon them by a spurned Elfin Knight. Each girl becomes pregnant as a teenager and, after giving birth to a daughter, goes insane. The only way for Lucy to break the curse is to complete three seemingly impossible tasks outlined in the folksong Scarborough Fair.

It's a terrible cliché I know, but I found this book impossible to put down! I was incredibly curious to learn what Lucy would do in the face of her situation and the revelation of the family curse. I loved the practical and modern approach that her family adopted in their attempts to solve the riddling curse of Scarborough Fair. But I won't write any more about that – it would give too much away!

Werlin has a very straightforward writing style that is a perfect counterpoint to the fantastical events that she writes about. Events that could seem ridiculously far fetched become believable through the simplicity of her prose. The third person narrative also allowed the viewpoints of multiple characters to be heard. This is very effective as it allowed the author to explore the other characters reactions to events and their concerns about Lucy's decisions.

However, I do have some concerns about a story that uses a rape to initiate the main plot. Lucy's pregnancy could have been introduced in a far less horrific way, particularly in light of the fact that the rape itself is incidental to the main thrust of the story. The rape is dealt with very briefly and strangely seems to have little effect on Lucy, apart from the pregnancy of course, which is clearly necessary to the plot. Additionally, Lucy's determination to have the baby in light of the madness that will descend upon her and be passed on to her daughter is difficult to understand.

However, despite these minor annoyances, the well paced plot and well developed characters was enough to keep me turning the pages. I also dug out my Simon and Garfunkel CD just to listen to Scarborough Fair again! Pure magic!

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to The Bookbag.

If this book appeals then you might also enjoy Roxy by P J Reece.

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Buy Impossible by Nancy Werlin at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Impossible by Nancy Werlin at Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy Impossible by Nancy Werlin at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Impossible by Nancy Werlin at


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