Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Virgin Cure by Ami McKay

In The Virgin Cure, a young girl named Moth is sold as a servant to a wealthy, but cruel, woman. After suffering much abuse, Moth meets Miss Everett, who takes in young girls to work in her brothel. Her cliental are particularly interested in young virgins, much like Moth. Soon she meets other young girls in the same situation as well as Dr. Sadie, who takes Moth under her wing and shows her how to avoid the worst dangers of Moth's new profession. Through all of this, Moth dreams that one day she'll own a big beautiful house and won't have to put up with any more abuse at the hands of others.

I loved this book! It's so well written with a fabulous story that made me want to keep reading and reading. I really don't know how McKay does it. She got my attention with the very first sentence and held on until the very last page without a single waver. I just could not put this book down.

Moth was a superb character. She was streetwise in some ways; very innocent in others. I especially loved that the story was written from her point of view with an occasional passage from Dr. Sadie. McKay got her voice just right. It felt like the story was coming from a child. I also loved Dr. Sadie. She knew what these girls faced and did everything she could to help them.

I adored the historical information contained in the side bars. It was relevant, interesting and added a lot to the story. I loved that McKay choose to include this extra information in this form. I can't think of another author who does this. Having said that, I sometimes have a hard time with side bars. I find them a bit distracting only because I can never decide when I'm supposed to read them.

The author's note, in which Ami McKay explains the origins and background of the story is particularly interesting. I love that it comes from her own family. It's definitely worth the read.

New words:
chancres (page 93): ulcer indicating syphilis and other diseases
diadem (page 243): tiara

This is the second book of McKay's that I've read. Her first book, The Birth House (my review) was fantastic as well. I think the reason I loved them both so much is that the stories were was interesting and the characters were so real. By including lots of historical information in both of the stories, McKay taught me a lot about the people who lived long ago.

Highly recommended. I read this book at the very end of 2011, but didn't write the review until now. The book should have made my list for Best of 2011, however, because the review wasn't written yet, it got overlooked. I'm adding it to my Best of 2012 right now. I hope to read many more books by this author.

For more information about this book, please visit the Random House website.

For more information about the author and her other books, please visit Ami McKay's website.

I'd like to thank those nice people at Random House for this review copy.

The Virgin Cure by Amy McKay, Alfred A. Knopf Canada (Random House), ©2011. ISBN 9780676979565(Uncorrected proof), 351p.


  1. Looks like a must-read ... I'm putting it right on my list! I always like original twists on stories whose basic elements we've seen before ... can't wait to read it :-)

    1. I hope you enjoy it! Thanks for stopping by.

  2. I'm so glad to see you loved this one! I started it the other day but I'm unfortunately fitting it in between others. What I've read so far is awesome. I imagine that it'll grab me enough that I just can't put it down soon. I loved The Birth House as well! It was amazing.


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