Val's Pick: "We All Want Impossible Things" by Catherine Newman
We All Want Impossible Things by Catherine Newman is a book about death, life, love, and friendship. Edie and Ash have been best friends since preschool. They have been there for each other through everything life can throw at a person - including a terminal cancer diagnosis. Edie is in the final stages of ovarian cancer and has to go into hospice care. It is decided that she will say goodbye to her young son and husband and go to a hospice in Ash’s hometown. What follows is a heart-wrenching story of a friendship that had me both laughing and crying. Although you know how the story is going to end, you can’t help but be invested in Edie and Ash’s friendship and want to know how Ash is going to cope with Edie’s death.
As I was reading We All Want Impossible Things, I was reminded of a scene from the movie Love Actually. This particular scene is of a funeral for a young wife and mother. Per her request before her death, the song Bye Bye Baby by the Bay City Rollers fills the church while her casket is being carried down the aisle. Some of the mourners have smiles on their faces as tears fill their eyes and you realize that this woman had one quirky sense of humor about even the most serious of situations. This is the best way I can think of to explain the tone of this book. It’s funny yet serious, sad yet hopeful. It will make you want to reach out to your oldest, dearest friend just because you can.