Impossible by Nancy Werlin

Penguin, Speak, 2009.  978-0-14-241491-0 $9.99

Seventeen year old Lucy has lived her whole life with Soledad and Leo, her foster parents, and friends of her mentally ill birth mother, Miranda. Miranda is a bag lady who comes and goes, and is an embarrassment to Lucy. Recently she has turned up twice at Lucy’s school, ranting crazily. It turns out that she is trying to warn Lucy of the family curse, based on a variation of the song Scarborough Fair, which is sometimes known as The Elvish King.  The curse is that each generation of daughters will give birth at eighteen, and will go mad, unless she can complete three impossible tasks set out in the lyrics of the song before the Elvish King comes to claim her. When Lucy is raped after the prom and gets pregnant, her family and friend Zach race to figure out how she can accomplish the impossible, even as they struggle with believing in the curse. Werlin provides a fascinating blend of reality and fairytale to tell a story of love, madness, and danger, and the healing power of family.


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