Impossible: My Story by Stan Walker
Impossible: My Story is one of the most honest, moving and powerful memoirs I have read. Of course, people will know Stan Walker for his remarkable success as a musician and actor, winning Australian Idol, and judging two series of The X Factor in NZ. But what people might not know is the many challenges he has had in his life. It doesn’t make for easy reading. He received bashings as a child from his father, there was also sexual abuse when he was young, and rape by a cousin. He has more recently faced stomach cancer and major surgery, caused by a genetic mutation that has afflicted many of his family.
What is astonishing in this beautifully written, lyrical memoir – that Stan has written with the help of accomplished ghostwriter Margie Thomson – is the light, love and redemption that shines through. Stan describes his life and his family as ‘the impossible made possible.’ Growing up in a family where love and violence were entwined, this is a story of a young boy finding his place and purpose in the world. From being a ‘stuffed-up little kid, beaten, abused and rejected,’ Stan is now ‘proud of who I am and how far I’ve come.’
So much of this book touched and resonated with me, even though at face value, you’d think Stan Walker and I would have nothing in common. But this book is written in such a wonderfully inclusive way, while at the same time being horrible frank and intimate in places, that I expect many other readers will have a similar reaction as myself. There are moments of recognition of terrible life challenges, but also the importance of love and family, and the power of truth and forgiveness.
Impossible: My Story is also a beautiful Christian testimony, with Stan talking about his faith in a way that is honest, accessible and real. This book looks at brutal events, but it also manages to be kind and full of love. The forgiveness and transformation in Stan’s family is such a different story from childhood trauma that often ends with separation from whānau. Impossible: My Story is extraordinary - a moving, ultimately inspiring book that I’m so pleased Stan dared to write and share with the broader world.
Reviewer: Karen McMillan
HarperCollins, RRP 39.99