The Impossible Girl
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, shes carved out a niche procuring bodies afflicted with the strangest of anomalies....more
So nope, you're not the only one that thought that IMMEDIATELY but before I start rolling my eyes at a published-fanfic (I've read some really blatant ones recently too) I want to read it, since...even if I didn't catch the DW elements, it would have sounded really, really, really interesting. (less)
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One of the most controversial, grim and fascinating aspects of the Victorian era was the exhumation and selling of corpses for medical purposes. The advancing need for therapies over a multitude of ailments made the demand of knowledge of the human body and the way it fights against disease made these criminal actions flourish, the perpetrators earned a small fortune. I've always been drawn to novels dedicated to this subject and "The Impossible Girl" won ...more
A dark, gritty, and ghoulish piece of highly suspenseful historical fiction!
Cora Cutter, born of mixed race, and out of wedlock, is raised by her aunt after her mother dies in childbirth. The doctor, who arrived too late to save her mother, examines Cora, and declares she has been born with two hearts. This anomaly would most assuredly place a price on her head and put an end to her life. As such, Cora is brought up as ...more
It is a brilliant, original novel that looks into grave robbing and body snatchers in the mid 1800s. It follows the story of Cora, the only female resurrectionist in New York, as she and her team dig up recently buried bodies and sell them to the highest bidder.
Cora has built a network of doctors who tell her of unusual cases among their patients, for Cora specialises in those that are afflicted with anatomical ...more
In 1830 Charlotte and her maid Leah were helping a young mother with the birth of her baby as the family wanted nothing to do with her or the out of wedlock child she carried. After the baby was born ...more
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Hello friends, I'd like to introduce you to the book that I've been secretly obsessing over these last couple days. It's adult historical fiction, which I know might seem off-putting to some who have neatly filed "historical fiction" under B for "Boring" in their mental file cabinets, but trust me when I say that this book is amazing and even though it's written for adults, there is tons of ...more
The Impossible Girl by Lydia Kang is listed as Adult General Fiction/Women's Fiction which is why I was pleasantly surprised to discover that it is a mystery book more than anything. And a stellar mystery book at that as I did not, not even once, consider the twist when the murderer is finally revealed
Set in the mid 1800's and written in third person, The Impossible Girl follows Cora, a resurrectionist, aka a grave robber, that ...more
Lydia Kang invites us into a small, ramshackled house on Long Island. It's January of 1830 and the frigid winter winds almost forecast the future existence of the tiny child born this day. Her mother is of the high societal name of Cutter.....cast out by her own family in shame. Her father is unknown. But rumors avail themselves to perhaps an Asian man working on the docks. The time period's ill-fated child will present herself with ...more
First of all - look at the cover! Look at it! It's so beautiful. Was the cover the reason this book caught my eye? Absolutely, I am a cover whore after all. And then I read the description and I was completely sold!
When I was reading this book a thought sprang to mind "this is what "Stalking Jack the Ripper" should have been". Minus Jack the Ripper of course . There are a lot of similarities between the books, but they are also very different from each other.
We have the strong ...more
"Im not ashamed of who I am, Leah. Its everyone else that has trouble with it."
Review also on my blog.
The Impossible Girl takes an interesting, almost fantastical premise does Cora Lee, the protagonist, really have two hearts? and then firmly grounds it in rich historical detail. Especially vivid are the depictions of resurrectionists (people who obtained corpses to serve as public medical dissection cadavers or even as freakshow museum anomalies) and their work in mid-nineteenth-century ...more
''Many things are possible. The human body's mysteries are finite but not yet solved.''
I can wait the day Goodreads will change it's rating system, because it's so hard to put a rating, especially when a book leaves you with your feelings split. This one is actually 3.5.
I always found 1800s an the first half of 1900s pretty interesting, because there is always something new to discover, ...more
This was quite good. I became aware of this book from a few positive reviews and once I read the books summary, I knew that I would have to give it a try as well. This was one of those books that I liked more and more as I read. It really didnt take too long before I reached a point where I didnt want to put the book down. I really had a great time reading this book.
Imagine living each day with the knowledge that you are worth more as a corpse ...more
When Elizabeth Cutter finds herself unmarried and pregnant, she's sent away to live with her cousin Charlotte who had also found herself in the same predicament but lost her baby during childbirth.
Elizabeth dies in childbirth but her daughter survives. When a doctor arrives, he is astonished to find two heartbeats and tells Charlotte and her maid Leah that the girl will not live. ...more
Anatomy is the equalizer, isnt it? Shows were all just clay and water, in the end, no matter if youre highborn or not.
New York. About 1850. A peculiar girl. A peculiar work. A peculiar world.
As the darkness descended, Broadway became a bright, jeweled marvel, form the colored lanterns hanging on the edge of the carries, to the gaslights flickering to life.
Let's start with the setting.
I've never read a book set in New York in the 1800s. It was a breath of fresh air. No more Victorian England, ...more
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 ...more
The rich locked their loved one's caskets and set guards but doctors treating patients kept folks like Cora informed as they all padded their pockets. Cora herself watches locals with strange afflictions and ...more
Kang holds absolutely nothing back in her descriptions of medical deformities and atrocities and of the corpsesso, so, so, so ...more
It's very easy to read and it offers a captivating story. I enjoyed how well the characters were written, and I especially enjoyed the story. The book gave me the impression that it was well-researched and planned to the smallest of details, as everything was coming together plot-wise. I do have a bit of an issue with ...more
Loved the details of historic New York, the beginnings of pharmacology, and the cast of colorful characters.
I'm always on the lookout for some macabre historical fiction and when offered the chance to review this book, my expectations reached the gothic spires.
I wasn't disappointed.
Come, let's enter the morbid world of graverobbers.
It's 1850 and the New York resurrectionists are digging up freshly buried bodies to sell to the medical schools. The ones with the most fascinating anomalies fetch the best price, so there's quite an industry in ...more
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, shes carved out a niche procuring bodies afflicted with the strangest of anomalies. Anatomists will pay exorbitant sums for such specimensdissecting and displaying them for the eager public.
Coras specialty is not ...more
'So, thirteen-year old Cora had shivered and cried, wondering if her numbed left arm and leg would work again, or her garbled speech would right itself. And they did- only a few hours later. It never happened again, but the incident reminded Cora that her body held dark sway over her existence.'
Cora, birthed three weeks too early in shame to Elizabeth, an unmarried socialite is born with an anomaly, two hearts. When her mother dies giving birth ...more
This book had a little bit of everything, romance, mystery, fantasy, and history. I loved this one almost from the first word! It made an excellent early fall/Halloween read.
This book touched on some of the most interesting ...more
Manhattan, 1850. Born out of wedlock to a wealthy socialite and a nameless immigrant, Cora Lee is born with two hearts. Now, her life is in danger and she must find the person who is killing people with strange anomalies and selling their bodies for a profit.
Great gothic story. The writing flowed nicely and the story was interesting to read. Great imagery of 1800's medical practices and the murky city streets of New York.
Truly an interesting and rather unexpected read. A tale of a young woman determined to make a life for herself during a time where women are regarded as the inferior gender by society - filled with murder, mystery and twisted family hierocracy. In some ways, it quite reminds me of These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly which I really enjoyed as well.
And honestly, I did not guess the killer right at all. Which is pretty rare, so kudos to the author for throwing me ...more
If you are looking for a historical fiction pick that you won't be able to put down, The Impossible Girl is a book I would HIGHLY recommend. Kang uses her own background in medicine, working as a practicing physician on the side, and crafts the incredible story of a girl born with two hearts in 1850.
Cora, born out of wedlock to a wealthy socialite and nameless immigrant, is the stuff that legends ...more
I'm a part time doc, full time family member, and if you offer me snacks, I'll be a friend for life.
My adult fiction centers around historical mysteries in New York City, with splashes of forensics, anatomy, apothecary medicine, and chemistry! A BEAUTIFUL POISON takes place in 1918 at the height of ...more