Sunday, October 07, 2018

Bookish Thoughts: Impossible Girl by Lydia Kang

The baby was small. ~ Opening of The Impossible Girl


The Impossible Girl by Lydia Kang
Lake Union Publishing, 2018
Fiction (Historical); 364 pgs
Source: NetGalley for TLC Tour

I admit I have been shying away from doing book tours as of late, but when I was offered the chance to read and review this one, I jumped right on it. I love historical fiction and throw in a woman in an unconventional role, and I cannot resist. I knew resurrectionists existed, but did not know much about the field or their role in society. Lydia Kang certainly whet my appetite for wanting to know more. I especially like it when historical fiction novels have strands of truth running through them--and it's clear the author did a lot of research on the time period her novel is set in, Manhattan, 1850. 

I was taken by Cora Lee's confidence and double life immediately. By day she is a lady and by night a rough and tumble man. To the outside world, she is Cora and her twin brother Jacob. She's mastered the two roles she plays so well that they each have their own distinct personalities. Having spent a good part of her life having to pretend to be a boy in order to keep her true identity hidden, it is no wonder she is so well able to fool those around her. Diagnosed at birth with having two hearts, Cora has spent her life protecting her secret. Grave robbers like herself and those, particularly anatomists, who buy the bodies she procures would pay a pretty penny for a woman with two hearts after all.

When a young medical student, Theodore Flint, steps in her path, Cora wants nothing to do with him. He takes a shine to the unusual woman though, struck by her beauty, wit and no nonsense attitude. Not to mention he has heard she, her brother and their team are the best resurrectionists around--and he wants to learn the trade.

Cora has long had an agreement with several doctors in the city that upon the deaths of certain individuals with special health conditions, she will be informed first so that she can collect their bodies. Whether for research or spectacle, these bodies are a hot commodity. Just as hers would be if she were to end up dead. When some of these people seem to be turning up murdered, Cora comes to realize she might be next. Does someone know her secret? She no longer trusts those around her, not even those who claim to be on her side.

Lydia Kang sets the stage for the novel quite well, wrapping it in history, not only capturing the time period in terms of the setting, questionable and medical advances, roles and treatment of women, and the profitability of the strange and the odd. I loved every minute of this deliciously dark novel. I was drawn to both the mystery and the romance, as well as Cora's personal history and relationship--or lack there of--with her biological family. I was hopeful I would like this novel, and I came away loving it--every suspenseful twist and bit of drama.


Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

Connect with Lydia

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram


I hope you will check out what others had to say about The Impossible Girl on the TLC Book Tours route!


Many thanks to the TLC Book Tours for the opportunity to be a part of this book tour.  Review copy provided by publisher for an honest review.





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20 comments:

  1. This one is on my wishlist. I'm glad to hear you enjoyed it, Wendy. :)

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  2. I liked this one, too! History and suspense and some twisty betrayals!

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    1. Jenclair - I am glad you enjoyed this one too! I will have to check out Faye's other work.

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  3. I love to read about women in unconventional roles too. This sounds great!

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  4. A subject I too find fascinating and also have not read enough on, plus Cora sounds like the kind of character I really like, I'll be sure to add this to my Wanna Read list.

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    1. Tracy - Cora is an interesting character. I hope you like this one if you give it a try.

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  5. What a pretty cover and this does sound like a good read. Glad you enjoyed it!

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  6. Cora sounds like quite a character. And that's certainly a different premise for a novel, which is good. I get tired of reading the same old plots. :)

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    1. Lark - She is! And this was a good one. I think you might like it.

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  7. So glad you took the chance on this one despite not doing a lot of book tours. I'm glad to hear this was a winner and I am definitely putting it on my radar!

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  8. Cora sounds brilliant -- and what a dark, intense novel this is! Great review!

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    1. Verushka - Thank you! I really liked it. And hope you will too if you read it.

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  9. Whenever I get a great tour review book, it makes me wonder why I don't take chances on them more often any more!

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