My first experience reading Ami Mckay was with her first novel The Birth House which I absolutely loved so I had high expectations going into reading her newest novel The Virgin Cure and happily they were met! Ami has a way of drawing you into a world so unlike your own and holding you there spellbound as you turn the pages to uncover more and more of the story within.
The Virgin Cure pulls us completely into the world of Moth, a girl born into the slums of New York City in the 1800’s. She grows up on Chrystie Street alone with her mother after her father left them both. Moth’s mother doesn’t have her daughter’s best interests in mind most of the time and none more than when she sells her to a wealthy lady looking for a ladies maid. Moth is only twelve years old and doesn’t know the ways of the world so when her employer begins to treat her badly she looks for any way that she can to escape. When she does she heads home to her mother only to find her gone.
Needless to say Moth has nowhere to go but it isn’t long before she’s picked up by another young girl on the streets and taken to a brothel. Miss Everett runs a brothel that only takes in young virgin girls and caters to the men who want them. She clothes them and trains them in manners and expects them, first and foremost, to follow all her rules and do what she says. While Moth feels that this is the only way she will ever get the life she ultimately wants there is still a big part of her that is extremely uncomfortable with it. Moth doesn’t know who to trust other than Dr. Sadie who attends the girls at the brothel and who has tried a few times to get Moth out. Moth has to make a decision – either stay at the brothel and lead the life of a whore or stay true to herself…
I really enjoyed this book and even better Ami McKay based the novel on her own family as her great-great grandmother was in fact a doctor in New York City back in the day. I liked the characters and the setting and it was all so vividly detailed that I felt I was walking the slums of New York myself. I also enjoyed the historical notes and newspaper articles that were included as well as they were fascinating. One example being the virgin cure itself. It was said that a virgin could cure a man of syphilis back in the 1800’s when in fact all it did was spread the disease more. The Virgin Cure is another winner for Ami McKay and one I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend!
I read The Virgin Cure by Ami McKay for her book tour with TLC Book Tours. Be sure to check out all the other tour stops to see what others think of the book. Ami is quite active online and can be found on her website, Facebook page, Twitter, and her Pinterest board as well. You can purchase The Virgin Cure here in the US and here in Canada.
Source: Review copy provided by TLC Book Tours and the Publisher via Edelweiss. No compensation was received and all thoughts and opinions are my own.