[Book Review] The Virgin Cure

virgin cure_imageMoth has an unfortunate life. Young, living in New York tenements in the late 1800s, with an uncaring and selfish mother.

She’s abandoned by a flippant father at age 3.

Guess what a girl in those situations must turn to…

  1. thievery
  2. prostitution
  3. death

She tries the first with miserable results, refuses the third, and is lured by the second.


You immediately take to this character, to Moth. She is a fighter not by choice, but by indifference. She knows nothing else growing up in her environment.


But she has this understated intelligence about surviving beyond her means. She can’t quite articulate what she needs to do, but instinctively knows she doesn’t want to struggle the rest of her life.

Sound familiar?

Her mother sells her off to a rich woman as a personal maid where she faces beatings and humiliation everyday.

A kind staff person helps her escape as he does with other former maids … not able to stomach their treatment yet needing the employment to save for the voyage of his love from England.

Moth returns home to find her mother gone… Gone! No message or indication of her whereabouts.

Cleverly living in a turned-over barrel on a roof top, stuffed with old papers, she faces danger and is grabbed by a drunken man. But someone sees her fighting against his disgusting actions and intervenes quickly.

Her saviour is a young lady dressed in finery – an ambassador of a local brothel serving young women. Moth soon falls in love with the luxury, safety and potentiality of this life.

Will she be saved from the notion of a virgin cure that apparently alleviates disease and health complications of paying customers?


Non-Spoiler Alert

I haven’t finished the book. I am savouring it. On the front cover Toronto Star claims, “Impossible to put down.” I agree but when I find a really good read, I savour it.

I take my time to learn about the main characters, I replay the plot in my head, I anticipate about what will happen next. I don’t want it to end.

So, to learn her outcome you’ll have to read the book yourself! ;0)


Great Readings


I am a very picky reader – cliques, pointless plots, and empty phrases leave me cold.

I don’t like books as gifts. I prefer to choose books whose writings transcends me to another place.

… and books whose words tug at my heart and immediately create visions, like a mime movie with all the characters.


The Author


Ami McKay is one of my favourite authors – her wordsmith and storytelling is wonderful. birth house_image

I ‘ve read her book, The Birth House – a whimsical, rich interplay of East Coast Canadian women in the 1920s holding on to their female rights in the community, in politics and in the bedroom.






Thanks for listening… not my usual blog post.


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I’m Dr. Kelly Edmonds, an e-learning specialist with oodles of experience and knowledge on creating online & e-learning products.  Follow Me!