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4.3 out of 5 stars
The Virgin Cure
Format: HardcoverChange
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
How could you not fall in love with a child of 12 with the name of Moth who begins her story with the words: `Mama sold me the summer I turned twelve'.
This is a poignant, touching story telling of the way things were for many people in New York in the late 1800's. It is historical fiction well researched to the point of giving the reader a true rendering of what life for a child such as Moth could very well have been, bringing to light some startling revelations about myths that were very popular at that time.
Beautifully written, easy to read with depictions of notices & advertisements of the day.
I wanted to give 5 stars but would have liked a bit more out of the ending. I felt the stories about some of the secondary characters were not complete. I would like to have known their fate.
Otherwise this book is well worth the time to read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 22, 2012
Having loved Amy McKay's first novel, The Birth House, I had my fingers crossed that The Virgin Cure would not disappoint. And it did not. Set in the poorest neighbourhoods of New York City in the 1870s, McKay creates wonderful Dickensian characters. From the girl protagonist Moth and her fortune-telling mother, to Dr. Sadie, an independent woman who defies the conventions of the period, McKay creates characters who are rich and vivid. While the plot was, at some points, quite predictable, McKay's addition of historical sidebar anecdotes from the period more than make up for this weakness. The story is ripe for a screen adaptation.
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on January 2, 2013
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. This couldn't be farther from the reality of the reading experience. History is a way of framing the story, and less the story itself. No extraneous historical ramblings, I promise.

From the very first page you are immediately a part of the life of Moth. One of the most outstanding qualities of this book it the way her story could really be told anywhere. My favourite part of the novel was it's treatment of poverty. Oh how privileged we are in our 21st century lives with middle class families. I would like my daughter to read this book.

Please read this. You will be very pleasantly surprised. I have already ordered The Birth House and can't wait to read it.
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on December 9, 2011
While I definitely enjoyed The Virgin Cure (and had problems putting it down some evenings) I felt that there was something lacking from the story. I can't quite put my finger on it, but I felt that the story lacked a little bit of depth, and was a little too predictable at times. I think overall I really enjoyed the first 3/4 of the book, and felt a little let down by the last part. That being said I would still recommend the book as an enjoyable read, and if you haven't read The Birth House I would recommend reading that, as in my opinion it is the better book out of the two.
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on April 29, 2015
Another excellent read! Great bookclub discussion book.
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