The Impossible Girl by Lydia Kang

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, she’s carved out a niche procuring bodies afflicted with the strangest of anomalies. Anatomists will pay exorbitant sums for such specimens—dissecting and displa...

Details The Impossible Girl

TitleThe Impossible Girl
Release DateSep 18th, 2018
PublisherLake Union Publishing
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Mystery, Fantasy, Fiction, Paranormal

Reviews The Impossible Girl

  • Amalia Gavea
    "The impossible girl with two hearts." 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 dedicat...
  • Carrie
    Looking for something a bit darker to read for the fall season? How about some grave robbing and human anomalies? The Impossible Girl by Lydia Kang just might be that book you are searching for then. A historical fiction tale with a bit of mystery this one is certainly fitting for the time of year.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 we...
  • Kylie D
    WOW! This book had me more hooked than any other I've read in a long while!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 ...
  • Felicia
    "The girl with two hearts, too impossible to have truly been born."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 ...
  • Linda
    "A heart doesn't have to stop beating to be dead." (Unknown)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 peri...
  • Iryna semi-hiatus (Book and Sword)
    4/5 stars 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 di...
  • Lou
    Wow! Finally, an original idea for a story that is executed perfectly. Lydia Kang is a helluva writer! Her prose is beautiful but it also flows well from page-to-page, making it an absolute pleasure to read. I would describe this as an historical medical mystery in terms of genre, it sort of defies categorisation, mainly because it is such a unique book. I thought the medical elements of the plot were authentic, detailed and realistic, and after ...
  • Ante The Zmaj
    First and foremost, I would like to thank NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for my first ever ARC. ''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 t...
  • mo
    "I’m not ashamed of who I am, Leah. It’s 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 ...
  • Chandra Claypool (wherethereadergrows)
    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...
  • Arybo ✨
    4.5“Anatomy is the equalizer, isn’t it? Shows we’re all just clay and water, in the end, no matter if you’re 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...
  • Kyra Leseberg (Roots & Reads)
    The wealthy Cutter family of Manhattan will not stand for the shame and embarrassment of heirs born out of wedlock.  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 Char...
  • Kate Olson
    (free review copy) HOLY MOTHER OF MACABRE. You guys know I’m obsessed with medical history AND that I love New York City history, so this book was on my TBR when I first heard about it. @tlcbooktours was gracious enough to send me a free review copy, and oh my goodness am I glad they did. Or maybe I’m not, given how absolutely delightfully disgusting this book was - HA!.Kang holds absolutely nothing back in her descriptions of medical deformi...
  • ☕ Kimberly
    I absolutely loved Cora, who lives both as a young man named Jacob and as his sister Cora. She is a shrewd businesswoman with an extensive knowledge of medicine, anatomy and apporapthy. Kang gave us a delightful glimpse of New York, its immigrants, and the seedy side of medical advancements. 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...
  • Hristina
    I was surprised by this book. I tend to stay away from historical fiction as it's not my cup of tea, but this book has a premise that after reading the synopsis I couldn't resist.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 toge...
  • ABCme
    Thank you Netgalley and Lake Union Publishing for the ARC.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 t...
  • Lolly K Dandeneau
    via my blog:'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 anomal...
  • The Lit Bitch
    This was a book that I was excited about when I got the pitch and then I kind of forgot about it until closer to the review date. I wasn’t entirely excited to read it when the time came to start it, but that slight was rectified almost immediately when I started this one.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.Th...
  • Carole (Carole's Random Life in Books)
    Initial ThoughtsThis was quite good. The more I listened the more I liked it. This book had a girl with two hearts, a double life, some grave robbing, a rather complex mystery, and even just a bit of romance. I liked that it was set in 1850's New York and I thought that the characters were very well done. It kept me guessing until the very end and I thought that the narrator did a fantastic job.Book source: Kindle UnlimitedFull review to be poste...
  • Karen Kay
    I received this from in exchange for a review. 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...
  • Renee
    Enjoyable! Lydia Kang’s story reminded me of favorites I read in high school, like Madeleine Brent’s Moonraker’s Bride. And narrator Saskia Maarleveld brought the characters to life so well. A great find on Kindle Unlimited.
  • Cindy ✩☽ Savage Queen ♔
    Well, that was interesting...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 p...
  • OLT
    If you don't try to analyze or make sense of some of the characters' actions, this makes for an entertaining historical mystery-thriller. It takes place in 1850s NYC, during an interesting period in history, when medical schools needed cadavers for their anatomy classes and research, with demand high and voluntary supply (by family members, etc.) almost nonexistent. What to do but steal freshly-dead bodies from graves to sell. Those involved in t...
  • Taryn Pierson
    After Lydia Kang’s novel A Beautiful Poison changed my mind about historical fiction last year, I couldn’t wait to dig into her latest offering. The scene is New York City, 1850. Cora is a resurrectionist--a polite-sounding word for “grave robber.” She negotiates deals with anatomists, medical schools, and museums, and then her brother Jacob (actually Cora dressed in men’s clothing) digs up the bodies along with his crew and delivers th...
  • Janelle
    Thank you so much Lake Union Publishing for this gorgeous, free copy of THE IMPOSSIBLE GIRL by Lydia Kang - all opinions are my own.This is an intriguing, macabre novel with an original plot, strangeness, intrigue, and yes, grave robbing. Set in the mid-1800s, we follow Cora, the girl with two hearts, who is the only female resurrectionist in New York. She exhumes recently buried bodies to sell to the highest bidder, usually the Grand Anatomical ...
  • Carmen
    I received a copy from Lake Union Publishing through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.Cora Lee is one of the top resurrectionists in New York. Anatomists are desperate for cadavers and are willing to pay a pretty penny for the newly dead. Living a double life, she scouts her latest specimens as Cora by day and digs their bodies up by night as her identical twin brother, Jacob. There’s more to her profitable job than just money. Cora h...
  • Mai
    I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley - thank you! All opinions are my own.The Impossible Girl is the story of Cora, who was born with two hearts. As a resurrectionist procuring bodies with strange anomalies to anatomists she takes us on a mysterious and weird journey through 1850s New York, all the while being the one medical sensation who tops all others and is sought after like a legend. I truely enjoyed this, Cora is a fascinatin...
  • Susan
    This was a super thrilling book that was chock full of suspense, danger and a bit of romance. Cora/Jacob are thrust into so many perilous situations that this is an edge of your seat, can’t stop reading kind of story. I suspected that one of Cora’s friends or family members would betray her but I did not make the correct guess. I truthfully was blindsided by it and feel like a twit for missing any clues. I don’t even recall there being any ...
  • Calista Andrechek
    Thank you Netgalley, Lydia Kang and Lake Union Publishing for the free e-book in exchange for an honest review.Born out of wedlock in 1850, Cora Lee can mingle with the rich socialites just as a well as she can sneak into the graveyards of the city. She’s the only female resurrectionist in New York and she’s made her money by finding bodies with strange conditions that anatomists will pay big money for. Cora’s specialty is not just for the ...
  • Stephanie
    I usually go into books with a fairly good idea of whether or not I’m going to like them. Sometimes I’m proven wrong, but generally I’m in the ballpark. With The Impossible Girl, I had no idea what to expect. I had not read anything by Lydia Kang, and I wasn’t quite sure if this book was adult or young adult or had supernatural elements or was just straight historical fiction. But I knew I needed to read a book about a half-Chinese female...