[Reading] ➿ The Virgin Cure By Ami McKay – Saudionline.co.uk



10 thoughts on “The Virgin Cure

  1. says:

    This is a book I will not read I have to tread on thin ice here since my last will not read review was hidden although probably not by the author s request By someone who calls themselves A Hole, I was told So thin ice it is.I read a review of this book that made me think I would enjoy it so I looked up the book page and whoever wrote the synopsis had written the ENTIRE story out A 45 line synopsis of the story indeed A blurb would have sufficed So if I bought the book at 25.99 it isn t available in the US in paperback I would know exactly what I would be getting, from the heroine s unfortunate birth and upbringing through her introduction to and career on the streets through to her expected redemption with difficulties All I would be getting if I paid out is the fleshing out of this story with details and dialogue If this was great literature, if this was a long saga, that much detail would be unacceptable, how much so in what is described by a friend in her review, This was a quick enjoyable read, pure if predictable storytelling Perhaps I am in a minority of not wanting to know the entire story before I buy a book, of feeling that a blurb is quite sufficient, but to my mind, the synopsis writer has not done the author a good service at all.


  2. says:

    The Virgin Cure is packed with interesting bits of history, period advertisements, and lush descriptions of dresses from Harper s Bazaar It s a bit like leafing through a wonderful old scrapbook It also makes me want to go out and buy a corset and gloves Okay, maybe not the corset The descriptions of it are frightening.I m not yet finished reading the novel, but the relationship between the female physician based on McKay s own great grandmother and the young girl, Moth, is compelling and the details of the underside of 19th century New York are fascinating It s clear that McKay loves her subject matter.


  3. says:

    I was looking forward to reading this, the story sounded interesting, granted disturbing but also interesting I like reading novels set in this time period, 1871 Most of what I read during this period takes place in England so I was looking forward to reading about the filth and slums of New York City.Moth is twelve years old, abandoned by her father and sold into servitude by her mother, she becomes a maid to the disturbed and abusive Mrs Wentworth Moth quickly realizes she must find another place where she can make a living.She eventually finds her way to Miss Emma Everett who runs a specialized brothel selling virgins for a hefty profit Dr Sadie is the female physician who attends to all of Miss Everett s girls and she develops a special fondness for Moth.I was disappointed by the lack of depth of this story The author chose to insert the thoughts of Dr Sadie at various points in the story and they often are inset into the narration on the page Sometimes fictitious articles from the newspapers are given a spotlight on a page here or there and the author also begins each chapter with a poem or passage of writing All of this extra material detracted from the main story and interrupted the flow of narration The middle of the story seemed to drag on and the ending seemed a bit too neat and tidy for my tastes.I really enjoyed the beginning of the story when Moth is trying to find her way in Mrs Wentworth s household She developed a friendship there that was one of the most engaging and satisfying parts of the book for me, but that relationship didn t continue through the rest of Moth s story Certain events that happen in Moth s life while she s living with Miss Everett seem incongruous with the rest of what s going on in the story It felt like the author couldn t decide which story she wanted to tell so instead of choosing one she told both.I liked some of the details and some of the relationships between the characters but overall I was left wanting to hear about Moth s experience and her feelings.


  4. says:

    Ami McKay writes with storytelling ease of a young girl named Moth by a legendary pear tree on the crossroads of Pear Tree corner As imaginative as this sounds, and though the novel is filled with a sort of Cirque du Soleil creativity in the trappings of the book s characters from their costumes to their well manufactured displays of propriety the book is anything, but happy It tells of the polarity between decadence and poverty in the streets of New York in 1871, the age of mysterious outbreaks of disease that would come to be known later as typhoid, diphtheria, smallpox, tuberculosis, gonnorrhea, and syphilis It is, in simple terms, a story of survival, of not only the city s poverty and disease, but the ramifications of its poor choices, or lack thereof, which leads or continues the culture s socially accepted, yet somewhat masked moral decline Poor and impoverished families sell their young daughters away into prostitution where they are not only valued for their youth, their potential profitable income, but also for their certified virginity and innocence But the value tied to a girl s virginity is not entirely driven by a desire toward her innocence and purity, but rather driven by a rumoured myth of a virgin cure the belief that a man with disease could cure himself by deflowering a virgin, of which the novel is aptly titled The tale is of a 12 year old girl named Ada Moth Fenwick who is left behind by her gypsy mother in poverty by a man whose wandering eye and lustful appetite found a much younger companion by the name of Katie Adams Though this part in the plot is small, it is the catalyst that propels Moth into an enslaved life of first servitude, then, and then prostitution It can also be said that her father s actions were, but a mere microcosm of the male psyche at large in the tenements of lower Manhattan in 1871 a foreshadowing of men s dismissive view of marriage and their wives What is left is an array of women who react to their station in life, their personal ambitions for survival in prosperity, security, and if fitting, love Ada s mother, a gypsy fortuneteller is frugal with her love toward her daughter, perhaps as a result of the severity of her abandonment by her husband and the severity of being poor with a child to raise on her own, single handedly It would be better to think she did this as an effort to strengthen Ada in tactics of survival, but it s too hopeful and assumption As a reader, I suspect her coolness toward her daughter is due to the hardship of their impoverished life together and her personal heartache As ambition goes, Ada s mother maximizes her exotic origin by exaggerating her prophetic, supernatural abilities and by doing so, increases whatever profit she is able to make An interesting trait about Ada s gypsy mother is her partiality to collecting charred trinkets from the wreckage of house fires It is as if, perhaps, her willingness to settle for charred, token items, speaks to her submission finally to the horror of her environment, her poverty, and her inability to overcome it.Miss Emma Everett, the madam in charge of raising young girls in prostitution on No 73 East Houston Street, is surprisingly fair to the girls, understanding always their crucial role in her tenacious ambition toward financial success She is clear about her expectations, preying in on their youth, their beauty, and their willingness to succeed in raising their status from almost whore to whore in order to avoid a life on the streets Miss Emma is able to tantalize the girls with material extravagance and special treatment when she feels a girl is able to seduce clients into securing her and her household a fortune She is neither cruel to the girls in the house, but strict in their tutelage in beauty and etiquette They are, to her, neither daughters, nor friends, but commodities to her social status and her business Miss Emma reflects the materialistic woman who will erase moral boundaries in order to survive and flourish amongst her peers, perpetuating men s stereotypes of girls and women and satisfying their sexual appetites while filling her purse Mrs Wentworth, though endowed with a high station and riches, is inflicted with sorrow, anguish, and rage, desiring power and vengeance on the youth, beauty, and innocent victims who beguile and surpass her in arousing desire The plot of Mrs Wentworth s cruelty was so difficult to read, I had to, during numerous times in my reading, put the book down It is enough to say, Mrs Wentworth s worst enemy is herself in her own torment that she feels compelled as a coping mechanism or an act of survival to inflict the same kind of torment on others Though she is cruel, she is, in fact, not the most degenerate of the characters in the book Though Dr Sadie is a woman of heritage and rich origin, her family also ostracizes her because of her choice in pursuing an education and a career that equals that of a man s at that time , rather than marriage She boards and works in the New York Infirmary for Indigent Women and Children, provides medical care for the young girls who live on East Houston Street, and pays regular visits to those who too ill to leave their homes for medical care Dr Sadie, the polar opposite of Miss Emma Everett in moral attitude, is similar to her in that she works within the rules of a social system to further her goals, namely, to care for those who are in need Her financial compensation is most likely small compared to her previous lifestyle, but provides an outlet where she feels she is doing some good especially toward the young victims that fall prey to the virgin cure mythology Ada Moth Fenwick is the child at the centre of the story whose lowly station in life has left her with few choices in acts of survival amongst the streets of Manhattan She is an embodiment of child woman, young as 12 years old, innocent in the ways of sexuality, yet hardened by the harsh environment she finds herself in from abandonment of her father an unrequited love from her mother cruelty and humiliation in the service of Mrs Wentworth manipulation by a butler whom she trusts dishonesty in the craft of begging and stealing on the streets south of East Houston the betrayal of friends in the competition for being the most valuable asset and commodity to Miss Emma Everett, to the eventual knowledge and misuse of her own sexuality The stories of these girls and women work together to showcase a hungry, desperate, and diseased New York of the 1870 s beneath the decadence of mansion and estate, dress trains, and social elitism Moth is not a butterfly, but an active mistress of the night, able to hover much like a hummingbird, above her circumstances.


  5. says:

    A very interesting, enjoyable and informative historical novel set in the mid 1800 s detailing the plight of families struggling to survive the slum houses of lower Manhattan based on actual facts from research of author McKay s Great Great Grandmother s life as a doctor during the era.Moth is a 12 year old girl abandoned by her father and sold by her gypsy fortune teller mother to serve as a ladies maid to the unbalanced and abusive Mrs Wentworth Moth eventually escapes the house and finds her mother is gone from the tenement Living on the streets wondering why her mother has left without a word, a starving Moth meets up with Mae who introduces her to Miss Everett s brothel for young virgin girls During her initial physical examination, she meets Dr Sadie who tries to convince her of the many dangers of life as a whore which eventually leads Moth to find out about The Virgin Cure.There is so much to tell in this story with many great character s loved Mr Dink I was hooked early on Don t know why I didn t rate it five stars


  6. says:

    Where do I begin with this Moth and her fortune telling mother live in poverty among the mean streets of lower Manhattan To buy food and sometimes liquor Moth s mother will sell just about anything of value she has to survive, including Moth 12 year old Moth is brave and street smart, but naive when she is sold to a wealthy, but deranged woman Believing that she will get to live in a grand house, she endures cruelty and torment from the lady of the house Once she escapes she encounters Mae, a young girl in training to lose her virginity to the highest bidder among wealthy men Without giving away amy plot, I have to say that this ended up being one of favorites this year Everytime I opened this book I felt like I was transported to that time and place of Moth s world This was descriptive and informative with anecdotes of information among the pages of the story Well written and engrossing


  7. says:

    What a unique book A story based on a dark time in early American history Young girls were sold taken in and then their virginity was brokered by a Madam for a high fee What happened to these girls next was anyone s guess They turned into prostitutes selling themselves away piece by piece In the later 1800s men carrying Syphilis, often thought that they could be cured by sleeping with an innocent virgin Her innocent blood would cure him, hence the Virgin Cure.Interesting subject matter, and at times it was tough to read Moth is a strong protagonist who manages her way through New York City, while trying to secure a better life for herself outside the slums of Chrystie Street Throughout this book, there were little anecdotes, and news articles supporting the story that was being told through Moth s eyes.The ending was a little too abrupt and tied up for me I felt like the last chapter was un necessary, and didn t really add anything to the story for me.


  8. says:

    I m back Didja miss me I read, like, a ton of books since I last posted a review breastfeeding, enough said , so I m going to start to try to post reviews reverse chronologically Here goes.The Virgin Cure Everyone s familiar with Chekhov s famous quote that a gun in Act 1 must be fired by the last act Well, if you at all agree with this quote, then DO NOT READ THIS BOOK Seriously At the beginning, I was interested, maybe even intrigued I needed to know how all these mysterious loose ends tied up Guess what They don t The book becomes the literary equivalent of your grandmother s rambling tale, except you don t get to ask her specific questions when she goes, where was I Where was I Right, lack of resolution Besides that, it s a pretty smooth read, and the historical fiction aspect is really pretty fascinating I don t think I ve ever seen old New York painted so vividly before If only McKay had kept track of all the loose ends, so she could have finished what she very promisingly started.


  9. says:

    Like the large bar of dark chocolate I intended to mete out a piece at a time but instead polished off in two days, I planned to read Ami McKay s new book, The Virgin Cure, slowly Despite my best efforts, I finished it within a week and am left awed and yet still hungry I hope blogging and talking about it with fellow readers bring me the satiety I seek.The Virgin Cure is the Dickensian style story of Moth, a 12 year old girl living on Manhattan s rat ridden Chrystie Street in 1874 To say Moth s is a hard scrabble life is an understatement Abandoned by Moth s father, Moth s mother supports the family as a psychic, but she shows a shocking lack of foresight for one who purports to see the future Deciding Moth is old enough to start supporting her, she kicks Moth out of their home, into a situation even rife with abuse than the one Moth is leaving.Moth is merchandise, bought and sold several times in the story Poor people are depicted throughout the book as inconvenient and an easy target for upper classes that choose to criticize rather than help them The complete lack of sympathy and social services makes for an interesting, if upsetting, anthropology lesson Much of the historical context is provided through explanatory notes, newspaper excerpts and ads that are included in the margins of the book While fascinating, I admit I found they distracted from the narrative The first person to show Moth real tenderness is Dr Sadie, a kindly physician she befriends I learned at the book launch that McKay modeled Dr Sadie on her own great great grandmother, who worked treating destitute children and safeguarding fresh maids against the virgin cure Be sure to read the epilogue for on this Seeing McKay read from the book and talk about her personal connection to the story deepened my appreciation and respect for her as a person and author I feel so grateful to this fellow Nova Scotia after reading The Birth House and now The Virgin Cure for choosing such important and compelling subject matter when sharing her abundant story telling talents with us.Lastly, while reading The Virgin Cure, iTunes was shuffling through my 2,000 song library and played Hawksley Workman s song A Moth is Not a Butterfly Coincidence perhaps, but the lyrics help explain why Moth is the perfect name for McKay s protagonist Two of Workman s stanzas for me, capture the bleak yet hopeful plight of this tenacious insect.A moth is not a butterflyAnd I know why, I know whyIt kind of makes you want to cryThat a moth is not a butterflyBus some are happy in the bluest skyAnd others search in the dark of nightAnd sadness is a silent rightA moth is not a butterflyIf you ve read The Virgin Cure, or plan to, please share your thoughts in the comments section My experience with it has been too brief thus far, and I d love some dialogue.


  10. says:

    This was a hard one for me to rate I liked this book very much, but there were several things that kept me from loving it.I really liked the character Moth I loved her spunky ways and pragmatic outlook There was just something about the way she was written that kept me from totally connecting with her I liked her and cared about what happened to her, I just didn t feel her pain as my own I liked her, but didn t love her I felt the same way about the female physician in the book She did what she could for her patients and for the women she knew, but I didn t feel like I really knew much about her inner life I didn t really understand her She didn t feel like a completely fleshed out character to me I liked her but it kept me from loving her.The story as a whole held my interest, but it didn t really engage me emotionally as I think it could have If executed really well, the plot should have left me unable to put it down and sobbing at the end, but it didn t I also thought that the events that happened regarding the title of the book should probably have happened to Moth, not a secondary character It would have been much depressing, but it also would have given the book some emotional punch.


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The Virgin Cure download The Virgin Cure, read online The Virgin Cure, kindle ebook The Virgin Cure, The Virgin Cure 7bd07de434d5 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 So Begins The Virgin Cure, A Novel Set In The Tenements Of Lower Manhattan In The Year As A Young Child, Moth S Father Smiled, Tipped His Hat And Walked Away From Her Forever The Summer She Turned Twelve, Her Mother Sold Her As A Servant To A Wealthy Woman, With No Intention Of Ever Seeing Her Again These Betrayals Lead Moth To The Wild, Murky World Of The Bowery, Filled With House Thieves, Pickpockets, Beggars, Sideshow Freaks And Prostitutes, 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 Through The Friendship Of Dr Sadie, A Female Physician, Moth Learns To Question And Observe The World Around Her, Where Her New Friends Are Falling Prey To The Myth Of The Virgin Cure That Deflowering A Fresh Maid Can Heal The Incurable And Tainted She Knows The Law Will Not Protect Her, That Polite Society Ignores Her, And Still She 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