• Hardcover: 336 pages
• Publisher: Harper (June 26, 2012)
From the author of the number one Canadian bestseller The Birth House comes the story of a young girl abandoned to the streets of post-Civil War New York City.
“I am Moth, a girl from the lowest part of Chrystie Street, born to a slum-house mystic and the man who broke her heart.”
Set on the streets of Lower Manhattan in 1871, The Virgin Cure is 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.
Ignored by society, unprotected by the law, Moth dreams of independence. But there’s a high price to pay for freedom, and no one knows that better than a girl from Chrystie Street.
Ami McKay is the author of the #1 Canadian bestseller The Birth House, the winner of three Canadian Booksellers Association (CBA) Libris Awards and a nominee for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. Her work has aired on various Canadian radio programs, and her documentary, Daughter of Family G, won an Excellence in Journalism Medallion at the 2003 Atlantic Journalism Awards. She is also active with UNICEF and other organizations. Originally from Indiana, she now lives with her husband and two sons in Scots Bay, Nova Scotia.
Ami’s Tour Stops
Tuesday, June 26th: Unabridged Chick
Wednesday, June 27th: Cerebral Girl in a Redneck World
Thursday, June 28th: Reading on a Rainy Day
Monday, July 2nd: Book Hooked Blog
Wednesday, July 4th: Book Him Danno!
Thursday, July 5th: nomadreader
Monday, July 9th: Broken Teepee
Monday, July 16th: Jenn’s Bookshelves
Tuesday, July 17th: Lit and Life
Tuesday, July 17th: Bookworm’s Dinner
Wednesday, July 18th: Twisting the Lens
Tuesday, July 24th: Raging Bibliomania
Thursday, July 26th: Peeking Between the Pages
Monday, July 30th: Bookworm with a View
Tuesday, August 7th: Just Joanna