Review: The Virgin Cure

Why I picked it: I have been a fan of Ami McKay's since reading The Birth House, it's one of the books I recommend most, to friends and book clubs.

I have been waiting to read another novel from this author for years (The Virgin Cure is McKay's second novel).

Synopsis: The summer Moth turns twelve, her mother puts a halt to her explorations by selling her boots to a local vendor, convinced that Moth was planning to run away. Wanting to make the most of her every asset, she also sells Moth to a wealthy woman as a servant, with no intention of ever seeing her again.

In that world Moth meets Miss Everett, the owner of a brothel simply known as an "infant school." Miss Everett caters to gentlemen who pay dearly for companions who are "willing and clean," and the most desirable of them all are young virgins like Moth. That's not the worst of the situation, though. In a time and place where mysterious illnesses ravage those who haven't been cautious, no matter their social station, diseased men yearn for a "virgin cure" - thinking that deflowering a "fresh maid" can heal the incurable and tainted.

Type: Historical Fiction

Quick Take: I read this book in one sitting, while flying from NYC to Boulder. When I do this I tend to have a different reading experience, a 'completeness' that I don't get often.

McKay's writing transports the reader, at least this is what happens for me.  I felt the room Moth and her mom lived in, felt the emotions on the page.  I was right there with Moth when she slept on the roof, took a bite of fruit deemed old, the day she met the mistress and realized what her mom did.

I don't want to give anything away but can I say that I loved the mistress' presence throughout the novel.

Historical brilliance with a gripping story!

Rating: 4 stars
Source: Review Copy (TLC Book Tours)

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