Thursday, July 11, 2013

The Virgin Cure by Ami McKay

Publisher: Harper
Pages: 336
Format: book 
Buy the Book: Amazon 

Goodreads:   The story of Moth, a girl abandoned by her father and raised by a mother telling fortunes to the city's desperate women. One summer night, twelve-year-old Moth is pulled from her bed and sold as a servant to a finely dressed woman. It is this betrayal suffered at the hands of her own mother that changes her life forever.

Knowing that her mother is so close while she is locked away in servitude, Moth bides her time until she can escape, only to find her old home deserted and her mother gone without a trace. Moth must struggle to survive alone in the murky world of the Bowery, a wild and lawless enclave filled with thieves, beggars, sideshow freaks, and prostitutes. She eventually meets Miss Everett, the proprietress of an "Infant School," a brothel that caters to gentlemen who pay dearly for "willing and clean" companions—desirable young virgins like Moth.

Moth also finds friendship with Dr. Sadie, a female physician struggling against the powerful forces of injustice, who teaches Moth to question and observe the world around her. The doctor hopes to protect Moth from falling prey to a terrible myth known as the "virgin cure"—the tragic belief that deflowering a "fresh maid" can cleanse the blood and heal men afflicted with syphilis—that has destroyed the lives of other Bowery girls.



Kritters Thoughts:  Centering around a young girl who under horrible circumstances is abandoned and must find her own way in New York City at the age of 12.  As there were only a few options for girls and as I learned some horrible ways for girls to keep a roof over their heads, I was astonished at the details of these girls lives that lived through these years in New York City.  I am certain that this wasn't just happening at this moment in time or just in this town, so I think this book has a sense of relevancy even at this time.  

My favorite part of the book was the addition of blurps that added some background knowledge or just little tid bits.  These parts really helped me as a reader as I am not a huge history buff, but helped define some of the things that were going on in the story.  I also loved the parts beyond Moth's story - the news articles and journal entries from Dr. Sadie, these two also added elements to the book that helped give the reader a little extra beyond Moth's story.

I think this was an interesting look at the not so pretty of New York at a rough time in history and thankfully the author didn't pretty up the time, place or the people and kept the truth in the story.  Although it was hard to read at times, I as a reader, appreciated the honesty of the work.

Rating: definitely a good read, but can't read two in a row


Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from TLC Book Tours.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Tuesday, July 2nd: Life in the Thumb
Wednesday, July 3rd: BoundByWords
Saturday, July 6th: Doing Dewey
Tuesday, July 9th: Becca’s Byline
Wednesday, July 10th: No More Grumpy Bookseller
Thursday, July 11th: Kritters Ramblings
Monday, July 15th: A Reader of Fictions
Tuesday, July 16th: BookNAround
Wednesday, July 17th: Melissa Firman
Thursday, July 18th: West Metro Mommy
Monday, July 22nd: Peppermint PhD
Thursday, July 25th: From L.A. to LA
Friday, July 26th: The 3 R’s: Reading, ‘Riting, and Randomness

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