Monday, 10 December 2012

The Virgin Cure - Ami McKay

Much blogged the history behind this one appealed. When it arrived it wasn't as academic looking as I had thought it would be.
Based in 1870's New York tenements the lead character is 11 year old Moth. The only child of a single mother who makes any occasional cent any way she can Moth is able to read but writing is not even an ambition. Around her she sees girls taken for the virgin cure by men who believed that a virgin would cure them of syphilis. She's as envious of the local girls with smart clothing living in the local brothel as she is of those selling flowers and tries very hard to stay out of the hospital established to help children like her since they don't receive any money there. The reader sees Moth sold by her mother to a woman she believes to be high born and the unhappy consequences prior to her “rescue” by a local prostitute. From there on the book focuses on the workings of the brothel and the hopes and despairs of he working girls.
Overall this was not my style of book at all- reminiscent of Catherine Cookson with some sex thrown in, albeit in a historical context. I think I'd rather read the biography of the women who set up the hospital for the fallen waifs.
Would I read another one? No
Publisher - Orion Books Ltd

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