Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Virgin Cure - Book Review

I joined the Random Reader Challenge!  The current challenge is in the genre of Historical Fiction. 

The current challenge was to pick one of the following books, read it, and write a review!

The book list was as follows:

The Winter Palace by Eva Stachniak
The Virgin Cure by Ami McKay
The Paris Wife by Paula McLain
Midwife of Venice by Roberta Rich
The Salt Road by Jane Johnson
Madame Tussaud by Michelle Moran
Anything in the Outlander or Lord John series by Diana Gabaldon

I had not read any of these books, and my first thought was that this would be a great way to try downloading a book from the library, which I have never done.  However, I found that all these books either had a long waiting list for digital copies, or were not available digitally from my library. So, scratch that idea.

Next, I decided to look up the actual book copy availability of The Virgin Cure, by Ami KcKay.  I chose this book because I read her previous book The Birth House last year, and absolutely loved it.  I really appreciated the amount of research that had obviously been done for this book.  The main library has six copies, but again, there is a waiting list of eight people for this book. However, what many people don't realize, is that our library has a special "7 Day Loan Quick Book" section. 

From this section, the books,
1) have a 7 day loan instead of 21 day
2) only two books can be taken from this section at a time
3) no holds can be placed on these books
4) you cannot renew books from this section
5) there is a $1.00 per day, per book late fine for these books.

Many books that have a long waiting list can be found in this section! So even though this book had a long waiting list, I was able to take it out! And reading it in 7 days is never a problem for me.  I finished this book in a 24 hour period.  I didn't time it, but I'm guessing the book took between 2 and 3 hours to read.

The Virgin Cure is a book about the life of 12 year old Moth in New York City in the year 1871. Yes, that *IS* her name!  She lives in poverty, with a Gypsy mother and absent father, in the slums of New York City.

She dreams of a better life, and her mother sells her to an upper class family where she becomes an abused employee of the household. With help, she escapes, only to go back home and find that her mother no longer lives in the home she grew up in.  She has disappeared.

Living on the streets on her own, she is taken in by a home that trains young girls in the profession of being a "whore".  She meets other young girls in this home, and is trained in how to become a part of this profession.

During her time in the home, she meets Dr. Sadie, a female doctor in a time when this was not a typical role for a woman to have.  Dr. Sadie attempts to take Moth under her wing to get her out of the home, as she realizes how young and innocent Moth is. Unfortunately, she is not very successful in her attempts.

Dr. Sadie brings Moth with her to see a girl who is suffering from syphilis, which they got as a result of being with men who were afflicted with the disease.  In this period of time, it was thought that by having intercourse with a virgin, the man would be cured of his illness.  This is where the title The Virgin Cure comes from.

I've never written a book review on here beyond whether I liked the book or not.  I don't want to give any more info away though, because then you won't get to experience the book for yourself.

I did quite enjoy this book, and once again, appreciated the amount of research Ami McKay obviously did in putting this book together.  I also enjoyed the styling, where, although the book was written and told by Moth, there are side notes and additional pages added in by Dr. Sadie that give the reader historical information.

Thanks to for putting this challenge together.  If you want more info on the challenge, or would like to try it for yourself, click on the link.

I will be adding some, if not all, of the other books on the list into my "to read" list.

First book of the year complete for the #50BookChallenge. :)

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the review. I too have joined this challenge and plan on reading the same book (I need to finish reading The Night Circus first) Glad to hear you enjoyed it.


Tell me your thoughts. I love to hear from readers. Say hi! :)