What’s on my nightstand? Impossible, by Nancy Werlin.
Impossible was inspired by the folk ballad, “Scarborough Fair,” which, if you listen to even the Simon and Garfunkel version is rather disturbing. Some guy insists a woman will be his “true love” if she does a number of impossible tasks: makes him a seamless shirt without the use of a needle, finds him an acre of land between the ocean and the ocean’s edge, etc.
Umm…no thanks, dude. My “true love” is not so bizarre, cruel, or demanding.
In truth, other versions show the woman asking for equally impossible things from the man, so maybe they’re a perfect match.
But what an interesting approach to a story plot. The book site offers a little of the song history and interpretation. I think this is what I like best: the development of the story from research into song lyrics.
I think the book is classified as YA, but I’d say it bridges YA and adult. The main character turns 18 in the story, and there’s love, sex, and pregnancy, though not at all explicit. It’s romance, mystery, and fantasy rolled into one (none of which are my preferred genres, mind you), and it kept me up until 2 a.m. one night so that I could finish it.
While I was able to predict a lot of what happened in the story (the role of Zach, for instance), I cared enough about the characters to want to see the story through. Since I don’t deal well with scary suspense, I think being able to anticipate some things (obviously not everything, or there would have been no need to read the book) actually helped me enjoy the book.
It’s been a while since a book has kept me up as this one did, so it’s getting a spot on the blog. I am not mentioning another book I read and the latest audio book on my mp3 player. They don’t make the cut.
I’ve always interpreted the woman’s verses as a come back and put down to the outrageous requests of the man. In an old Scottish version, the song ends with “When he is done and has finished his work, Tell him to come and he’ll have his shirt.” As a lover of folk music, I’ve often thought that some of the songs would make great books.
I plan to find this one and read it. If your least favorite genres can keep you up, I’m sure they will intrigue me. Fantasy and mystery are among my favorites.
OK, OK, OK, these kinds of statements drive me crazy: “I am not mentioning another book I read…”, because you did, in fact, mention the book(s), just not by title. And now I NEED TO KNOW what they are. Had you not said a word, I would have been fine! Did you do that on purpose?
Umm…no. I did not do that on purpose, but I might have to in the future. 🙂
I don’t want to mention books I don’t really like because I don’t want to have to say I don’t like them. If I were a paid reviewer, or even if I knew better how to review books, I’d write what I thought about every book, good, bad, or boring. But this isn’t even a book review blog; I don’t want to trash books here, even if I think they’re trash. Well, maybe if I really think they are trash, but I don’t want to trash a book that simply doesn’t tickle my fancy.
Creating a book and getting it published is a huge accomplishment for most people. (Celebrities, children/spouses of published authors, and others with personal keys to the back door excepted.) I take my hat off to those authors whether I like their books or not.