One summer night in Lower Manhattan in 1871, twelve-year-old Moth is pulled from her bed and sold as a servant to a finely dressed woman. 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. She also finds friendship with Dr. Sadie, a female physician struggling against the powerful forces of injustice. 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—which has destroyed the lives of other Bowery girls.
Ignored by society and 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.--This text refers to the Paperback edition.
I had this book sitting on my shelf for almost a full year before picking it up. To be honest I bought a bunch of books in one day and just kind of overlooked this one. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Vamplover
Enjoyed the story and historical facts. Amazing stories of struggles and why people did what they did. The book was a
It was a book club choice so I finished it. If it hadn't been - I would not have bothered past the first 100 pages. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Catherine Sutherland
I loved this book - felt different from The Birth House which I also liked. But this was excellent. Looking forward to Ami's next book!Published 19 months ago by N. Rea
I love The Birth House. Though this book was not as good, I was not disappointed!
I enjoy her style of writing!
This book was great because it had historical facts about London in the Victorian era, the characters were believable, the plot was good and it was written beautifully. Read morePublished 24 months ago by Laura
You already know the plot from the synopsis. And you probably think that a book set in 1872 New York will be hopelessly boring historical fiction. Read morePublished on Jan. 2 2013 by J.R.
I had high expectations, since The Birth House was so good. But this one didn't live up to those expectations. It felt like the book was ending just as the story was beginning.Published on Nov. 16 2012 by Jenna
This is the first book I've read in a while that I could not put down. My heart ached for Moth and I wanted to know her fate. Read morePublished on Nov. 8 2012 by Kathy