An inspiring story of struggle and courage, Iris Jones
August 8, 2022
I was really excited when I got to choose this book because I love Stan Walker’s songs. When thinking about the title of the book, I imagined it was about Stan’s life or something he didn’t think he could achieve. My guess was kind of right – it was his life’s journey so far and some of his struggles and difficulties he had to figure out by himself.
His story begins in childhood, growing up in Tauranga and Australia. There were day-to-day struggles with violence in the home, and not much money or food. There were drugs and alcohol, stealing, and abuse, but also lots of good things such as freedom, visiting whānau, his cousins, and of course, singing.
Stan explains how that was life for him and his siblings; the beauty and the violence, the richness and the poverty, the love and the hate, everything but nothing. It was challenging to understand Stan’s childhood as mine is totally different, however the book opened my eyes to a whole other world and it gave me a true understanding of his difficulties.
Some parts left me hanging a bit, and others answered my questions. I feel grateful and very lucky to not be in some of those situations in the book. Stan loved Australian Idol as a kid and dreamt of being there and winning it himself like he saw Guy Sebastian do. When he got the chance to audition, he took it straight away.
He sang his heart out and ended up taking the grand prize as the winner out of all the thousands of people auditioning. This was a dream come true for Stan and the start of a bright new chapter of his life. Stan Walker is a household name in New Zealand nowadays. Stan talks about some of the amazing influences in his life growing up, such as his Koko, who he loved dearly.
His family had a gene from way back that was passed on, causing stomach cancer. Stan’s poor Koko (his mother’s father) passed away with this cancer. Stan was heartbroken – his Koko meant so much to him and they were like best friends.
Stan had to overcome his fears and take on challenges with huge amounts of courage and bravery, for example, when he auditioned for Australian Idol in 2009. He was only 18 years old. I can imagine how nerve-wracking that would be and can picture so many different scenes in my mind. The book described really special people in his life such as his Koko, his brother Mike, and his Nana Raewyn.
Impossible outlines three major moments in his life, that have shaped him as a person, which are: winning Idol, forgiving his whānau, and surgery to remove his stomach to prevent cancer.
I highly recommend reading Impossible as I found it very inspiring. Happy reading!
- Iris is 12 years old and lives in Gisborne.