Impossible - Nancy Werlin 

Dial Books

Despite the ambiguous, not exactly eye-catching title, "Impossible" is a well-written, layered novel. Inspired by "Scarborough Fair," the ballad made famous in modern times by Simon & Garfunkel, "Impossible" follows Lucy, the last in a line of women of the Scarborough family.

An ancient curse, set in motion generations ago when a young woman refused the advances of the Elfin Knight, dooms each new generation of Scarborough women to madness. But only after they've given birth to a daughter to keep the curse going, leaving the deranged mother unable to raise the daughter to know of the curse and left to wander town, hurling insults and empty soda cans at passersby and muttering lyrics to the famous song.

Werlin has done a fantastic job of taking inspiration from the song, which can actually be traced back to 17th-century Scotland where it was known as the "The Elfin Knight." Using the lyrics of the song, which list demands made by the elf to a young woman or "else she'll be a true love of mine," Lucy must meet the demands of the song before she gives birth to break the curse.

"Impossible" really is quite clever and, although deals with ancient curses and non-human creatures, doesn't smack of clich

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