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The Virgin Cure Hardcover – Deckle Edge, Oct 25 2011

4.4 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf Canada; 1st Edition edition (Oct. 25 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0676979564
  • ISBN-13: 978-0676979565
  • Product Dimensions: 15 x 3 x 21.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 499 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #16,079 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

“Finely crafted and remarkably researched.... While set in the past, the book informs the modern dialogue on feminism, the sex trade, and choice.”
—Stacey May Fowles, The Walrus
 
“A worthy follow up to...The Birth House.... Character, setting, mood and plot are melded naturally to create a Dickensian world of deprivation and determination.”
Winnipeg Free Press
 
“A powerful novel, rooted in the same elements that made The Birth House both critically lauded and a bestseller.... One of McKay’s gifts and skills as a writer is her ability to utterly immerse the reader in her fictional world.... A powerful, affecting novel.”
—Robert J. Wiersema, National Post
 
“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.... It’s difficult not to swiftly turn the pages of The Virgin Cure.
Maclean’s
 
“A lovely novel, written in a style that is both clean and subtle. McKay’s voices are true; her characters sympathetic.... I’m certain readers will take to The Virgin Cure just as they did The Birth House.”
The Vancouver Sun

“A powerful new voice in Canadian writing.”
—Marjorie Anderson
 
“McKay is clearly a talented writer with a subtle sense of story, one that readers will look forward to hearing from, again and again.”
The Gazette
 
“McKay is such a wonderful storyteller with a strong sense of place and time.”
Library Journal

From the Back Cover

From the author of the number one Canadian bestseller The Birth House comes the story of a young girl abandoned to the streets of post-Civil War New York City.

"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."

Set on the streets of Lower Manhattan in 1871, The Virgin Cure is the story of Moth, a girl abandoned by her father and raised by a mother telling fortunes to the city's desperate women. One summer night, twelve-year-old Moth is pulled from her bed and sold as a servant to a finely dressed woman. It is this betrayal suffered at the hands of her own mother that changes her life forever.

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.

Moth also finds friendship with Dr. Sadie, a female physician struggling against the powerful forces of injustice, who teaches Moth to question and observe the world around her. 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—that has destroyed the lives of other Bowery girls.

Ignored by society, 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.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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#1 HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon October 25, 2011
Format: Hardcover
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on February 21, 2017
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon November 18, 2011
Format: Hardcover
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on January 14, 2013
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon March 15, 2017
Format: Paperback
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on January 22, 2012
Format: Hardcover
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