A neonatal ICU nurse, consumed with grief over the losses of both her mother and newborn daughter, begins to suffer from a series of disturbingly vivid visions. A teenage girl is swept up in a doomed love affair with a young man interned at Manzanar, one of America’s notorious concentration camps for Japanese-Americans during World War II. Though decades—and worlds—apart, the lives of these two women are indelibly intertwined, and the actions of one will have profound and lasting implications on the other.
At once a powerful coming-of-age novel, a heartbreaking love story, and a harrowing tale of suspense, The Wild Impossibility masterfully illuminates the resilience of love in the face of tragedy, and the power of family to endure despite distance, time, and heartbreak.
“The Wild Impossibility dazzles on every page, with its wonderfully rich prose and layered story. Cheryl Ossola goes many levels below the surface, showing how a present life is infused with the past, how hearts are broken and mended, how at some level, there is no such thing as a past or present at all. It’s a novel that will have its way with you because Ossola is such an accomplished writer.”
—Nina Schuyler, author of the award-winning novel The Translator
“Ossola walks a wonderful wire here, sculpting a story that’s readable and timely. The novel honors its history with austere accuracy, and Ossola captures her characters’ complex emotional trajectories in gusts of poetry.”
—Joshua Mohr, author of the novel All This Life
“The Wild Impossibility weaves together multi-generational, multicultural love stories that bear timely witness to our depths and heights as people, as nations, and invites us to ponder what’s possible in ways crushing and uplifting. Sensual. Heartful.”
—Ethel Rohan, author of The Weight of Him
“In lyric prose Cheryl Ossola takes us on an exhilarating journey, as Kira Esposito becomes a relentless detective of her dreams in a search for origins. Readers will time-travel on switchback trails, from Kira’s 21st-century life with her husband to a Japanese interment camp in the 1940s—and back again. Ossola’s stunning descriptions of the landscape ground us in a vivid a sense of place and the porous boundaries between time-realms create engrossing tensions in Kira’s marriage. Ossola is masterful at showing the connection between dreams, quantum labyrinths, and daily life. By the end of this book you will be a seasoned time-traveler.”
—Thaisa Frank, author of Enchantment and Heidegger’s Glasses
“The Wild Impossibility is Cheryl A. Ossola’s debut novel, but an accomplished feat it is, combing elements of mystery, historical fiction, psychological drama, and love story into a cohesive whole. Kira, the protagonist, has suffered two miscarriages. With the second she begins to have “spells” in which she feels she’s reliving someone else’s life. When these spells threaten her marriage and her job, she takes off on a spiritual journey to learn whose life she’s reliving. Split in time between the present and the past, and in setting between Berkeley and the Manzanar concentration camp for the Japanese during World War II, Ossola pulls the disparate elements together seamlessly. Her prose is adept with moments of lyricism. I particularly enjoyed her descriptions of the desert. The Wild Impossibility is a charismatic tale of family history, secrets, and tragedy covering three generations with Kira struggling to comprehend it all. An excellent read, especially for covering Manzanar, a black moment in American history, with sensitivity.”
—Suanne Schafer, Reviewer at Midwest Book Review