Social Media Icons

Monday, September 17, 2018

REVIEW: The Impossible Girl by Lydia Kang @LUAuthors @amazonpub @LydiaYKang #allthebookreviews

The Impossible Girl
by Lydia Kang

Publisher:  Lake Union Publishing
Publish Date:  September 18, 2018
364 Pages
Genres: Historical Fiction, Mystery

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

Two hearts. Twice as vulnerable.

Manhattan, 1850. Born out of wedlock to a wealthy socialite and a nameless immigrant, Cora Lee can mingle with the rich just as easily as she can slip unnoticed into the slums and graveyards of the city. As the only female resurrectionist in New York, she’s carved out a niche procuring bodies afflicted with the strangest of anomalies. Anatomists will pay exorbitant sums for such specimens—dissecting and displaying them for the eager public.

Cora’s specialty is not only profitable, it’s a means to keep a finger on the pulse of those searching for her. She’s the girl born with two hearts—a legend among grave robbers and anatomists—sought after as an endangered prize.

Now, as a series of murders unfolds closer and closer to Cora, she can no longer trust those she holds dear, including the young medical student she’s fallen for. Because someone has no intention of waiting for Cora to die a natural death.

My Review:

I have always had a fascination with the macabre, the "freaks", the strange and different.  Probably why Freak Show is still my favorite season of American Horror Story, partly why I loved The Greatest Showman and why I absolutely adore this book.

Cora is the girl with two hearts - having to grow up as a boy and then take on dual roles as herself and her twin brother, taking on a job as a resurrectionist so she could always be privy to any talk of anyone coming after her, to show her, or rather her two hearts, off to the world.  In the time of Barnum and Bailey and the freak shows of the world, grave robbing as a norm and where the thought of a woman doctor was still astonishing and unheard of - Kang takes us into this world with flourish and entertainment.

While I did enjoy the story thoroughly, I especially loved reading the Author's Note at the end where it's explained what was taken from actual truth from those days, including the amazing language that the resurrectionists used - how fun is that?!  And the explanations of the various things that happened throughout the book made it even more interesting for me.

This is the perfect kind of historical fiction that I enjoy.  Cora is a character I thoroughly enjoyed.  I also loved the uniqueness in the interspersed chapters of the last minutes of the characters who died from their point of view.

If you like the world of grave robbing with a strong female protagonist who fights for her life on the daily, this is a great read for you.  While historical fiction isn't typically my cup of tea, this one became my shot of whiskey.


Jessica's Review:

I know historical fiction isn't for everyone, but I'm a huge fan of the genre. THE IMPOSSIBLE GIRL brings readers into the time of Barnum's and the side shows. I have always been fascinated with the concept of freak shows and learning about them, so this synopsis grabbed me immediately. I would also like to say, you definitely need to read the Author's Note at the end!

Cora is a woman with two hearts, but must be on constant alert to protect herself. She is the only female resurrectionist in a male exclusive profession. Despite needing to remain in disguise, her position as a resurrectionist comes with a perk - she is able to get information about if anyone is looking for her to showcase her medical peculiarity before it can happen. Kang transports us into the Victorian era and directly to the center of the macabre world that is the freak shows and museums of curiosities.

This is a period in history that fascinates me. We often forget the darker side of the freak shows and curiosities - this book portrays the medical side of these attractions. People are sought after for anatomical abnormalities, which is why Cora knows she is a target. As far as historical fiction goes, this one is definitely out of the norm. I know there are people that aren't fans of the genre because they can be too dense and focused more on the historical side of things. Well, Kang has woven such a unique read with a memorable female protagonist.

I would highly recommend this to anyone that finds the synopsis intriguing. Don't let the fact that it's historical fiction deter you - I feel that this book has more to offer than just being a historical fiction novel. You have the Victorian era grave robbing, exhuming bodies for medical purposes, oddities and curiosities, murder, mystery, and a woman caught in the center of it all.

I give this 4/5 stars

No comments

Leave a Comment