Impossible by Nancy Werlin

A young woman discovers that she is cursed to go mad on the birth of her first child unless she can complete three impossible tasks.

Woven from the lyrics of the ballad Scarborough Fair, made famous by Simon and Garfunkel, Impossible successfully places a fairy tale in the context of modern life without sacrificing any magic at all.

Lucy Scarborough was raised by foster parents after her mother, Miranda, went mad on Lucy’s birth. Now Lucy finds herself pregnant at 17, and discovers a diary kept by Miranda during her pregnancy claiming that unless Lucy can complete the tasks named in the ballad, Lucy will go mad when her own daughter is born. Lucy chooses to believe, and sets out to weave a seamless shirt with no needles, find an acre of land between the saltwater and the sea strand, and plow it with one grain of corn using a goat’s horn. In the backdrop lurks the figure of the Elfin King, who seems to rule over Lucy’s plight, though she does not know yet exactly how.

I tore through this book. It’s fast paced, romantic, magical, and skillfully plotted. I’m not always a fan of updated fairy tales but this one really worked, I think because Werlin didn’t try to make it too contemporary. There was just enough realism for me to connect with the characters, and just enough magic for me to buy the premise.

16 thoughts on “Impossible by Nancy Werlin”

  1. Grain of corn? Goat’s horn? What happened to the leather sickle? And I thought I knew that song…

    Sounds like an intriguing book.

  2. I am reading this book and so far i like it, but when i get to the part when she decides to keep the baby it gave me kind of anger because Lucy had pass through many things and then the pregnancy?? i think the pregnancy went too far and when i want to read more, i don’t do it because now it gives me anger because she won’t be the same, neither zack, and i don’t want to feel that reading this book, i think it would have been better without the baby she is having, but besides that it is an excellent book, just that tiny detail, in my opinion.

  3. i loved this book. it was so compelling and if everyone promises not to kick my butt i’ll even say this confidently. i loved it more than twilight 🙂

  4. both my mother and i recently read this book. i read Are You Alone On Purpose a few years ago and she reckognized the author and bought it for me. i thought it was amazing. i especially enjoyed how well written the characters are. i liked how Lucy is incredibly down to earth and i loved how honest and loving Zack is. sometimes it was painful to read! (in a good way) deffinatly one of my favorite books.

  5. hi, I read the book I liked it very well! I’m doing it or a project, what would you say the setting would be? she never really mentioned specifics, what do you think was the climax? I would say its when she’s almost quits sowing the corn and goese into labor. What do you think the over all mood was? I’ve narrowed it down to: Optomistic, determined. I also need three figures of speech. so i need
    2. Climax
    Thanks! it was really good!!

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