The much-anticipated follow-up to The Birth House, The Virgin Cure secures Ami McKay's place as one of our most powerful storytellers.
"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."
The Virgin Cure begins in the tenements of lower Manhattan in the year 1871. A series of betrayals lead Moth, at only twelve years old, to the wild, murky world of the Bowery, where eventually she meets Miss Everett, the owner of a brothel simply known as "The 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.
While Moth's housemates risk falling prey to the myth of the "virgin cure"--the belief that deflowering a girl can heal the incurable and tainted--her new friend Dr. Sadie warns Moth to question and observe the world around her so she won't share the same fate. Still, Moth dreams of answering to no one but herself. There's a high price for such independence, though, and no one knows that better than a girl from Chrystie Street.
AMI McKAY is the author of three internationally bestselling novels--The Birth House, The Virgin Cure and The Witches of New York and the recent yuletide novella, Half Spent Was the Night. She began her writing career as a freelance radio journalist, and in 2001 wrote and produced a radio documentary, also called Daughter of Family G, that traced her decision to undergo genetic testing. It won a Silver Medallion at the Atlantic Journalism Awards, was nominated for a Gabriel Award, and aired on both The Sunday Edition on CBC Radio and on National Public Radio in the US. Her non-fiction work has also appeared in Elle Canada, The Independent, Canadian Living and Chatelaine. Born and raised in Indiana, McKay now lives in Nova Scotia.
"Fans of McKay's bestselling novel The Birth House are going to love The Virgin Cure.... McKay's vivid prose can trigger in readers the taste of a hot bowl of oyster stew, the reek of Chrystie Street tenement houses and the sound of a taffeta skirt's hem brushing the floor of a concert saloon."
"Impossible to put down."
"Finely crafted and remarkably researched.... A unique achievement."