Most kids know the traditional folk song "Scarborough Fair" (if they know it at all) from their parents' and grandparents' dusty old Simon & Garfunkel albums. For 17-year-old Lucy Scarborough, however, the haunting ballad takes on life-or-death significance when she learns that the song's riddle-like lyrics might hold the key to breaking the curse that has entrapped generations of Scarborough women.
Raised by her adoring foster parents, Lucy has had a nurturing upbringing. Athletic, smart, funny, loving Lucy seems on track to have the kind of successful life that was never an option for her birth mother, Miranda, who had Lucy when she was 18 and went mad shortly thereafter. Now Miranda is a shadowy, often troubling figure at the margins of Lucy's comfortable life.
But Miranda's story takes on new significance when Lucy herself becomes pregnant the night of her junior prom. Like her mother, Lucy will give birth at age 18. But is she, as the old song seems to suggest, doomed to a life of madness and alienation once she's had her infant daughter? Reading Miranda's old diaries, Lucy decides it's time to take action against the powerful forces determined to take over her life. With equally powerful allies—including her foster parents and boy-next-door Zach—Lucy might be the Scarborough clan's last, best, hope to break the curse that has enslaved them for so long.
With its romantic plot and folkloric roots, Impossible might seem at first glance to be a departure for author Nancy Werlin, best known for suspense novels such as The Killer's Cousin and Double Helix. But, in addition to showcasing her adeptness at developing characters, Impossible remains, in the end, just as suspenseful as any of Werlin's more traditional mystery novels. Romantic tension, a battle between g[Sat May 25 23:43:33 2013] enhancedContent.pl: Wide character in print at E:\websites\aquabrowser\IMCPL\app\site\enhancedContent.pl line 249.
ood and evil, and a race against time—all set within a realistic contemporary setting—result in an intriguing medley of genres and a story that will remain in readers' minds much like a beautiful, haunting melody. Copyright 2008 BookPage Reviews.
BookPage Reviews 2009 August
Looking for a perfect book club book? Impossible!
Itâ€™s 9 p.m. on the first Sunday night of the month. Around a living room, my book club has polished off the pound cake that Christina, this monthâ€™s hostess, topped with lemon curd. Weâ€™ve also just concluded a spirited discussion of Charlotte Bronteâ€™s Villette, even though one of us got bogged down in the middle (â€śCan I just say itâ€™s not Jane Eyre?â€ť) and another one of us never even got started.
Win copies of Impossible to read with your book club! It's easy:
1.) Create a book club profile on our site if you haven't alreadyâ€”must include a photo or image. 2.) Write a review of any book you've read as a club before September 1.
2.) Write a review of any book you've read as a club before September 1.
That's it!Â Winner will be randomly drawn from among the eligible entries on September 7.Copyright 2009 BookPage Reviews.
Werlin (TheRules of Survival ) melds fantasy and suspense in a contemporary setting for a romance with plenty of teen appeal. Lucy Scarborough, raped on prom night, is pregnant. Committed to keeping the baby, she nonetheless sees disturbing parallels to her mentally ill mother, Miranda, who had Lucy as a teen, then left her in the care of the Markowitzes--Soledad, a nurse-midwife, and her husband, Leo. Boy-next-door-type Zach, home from college and living with the Markowitzes, happens upon Miranda's teenage diary, which outlines a curse placed on Lucy's family generations earlier by the evil Elfin Knight: the women all give birth as teens before descending into madness. Lucy can break the curse only by performing three impossible tasks set forth in a variant of the ballad "Scarborough Fair." None of her forebears have come even close, but then none of them had help from the selfless Markowitzes, the love-struck and self-sacrificing Zach or the Internet, where items like goat horns can be easily located: Lucy is the luckiest accursed girl ever. Werlin disguises the retro elements by creating feminist male leads, and even though the outcome is never in doubt, she builds nail-biting tension. Ages 12-up. (Sept.)[Page 74]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
Gr 9 Up-- Werlin combines magic, romance, and a family curse in this 21st-century fairy tale based on the ballad "Scarborough Fair." On the night of her prom, Lucy, 17, is raped by her date and becomes pregnant. She decides to keep the child, and she is supported by her foster parents and Zach, her childhood friend whose love for Lucy changes from platonic to romantic as the story progresses. The teen discovers the curse on the women in her family when she reads her birth mother's diary. Lucy is destined for madness at 18 unless she can perform the three impossible tasks described in the song and break the curse of the Elfin Knight. She is determined to rid herself and her unborn child of the curse, and her family and Zach help her as she works to solve the riddles. This unique story flows smoothly and evenly, and the well-drawn characters and subtle hints of magic early on allow readers to enter willingly into the world of fantasy. As in The Rules of Survival (Dial, 2006), Werlin addresses tough topics. Rape, teen pregnancy, and family madness set the story in motion, but the strength of Lucy's character and the love of her family and friends allow her to deal with such difficult matters and take on the impossible. Teens, especially young women, will enjoy this romantic fairy tale with modern trappings.--Jennifer D. Montgomery, Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green[Page 194]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.