The Virgin Cure is story of Moth, a young girl overcoming the setbacks of being born into poverty in New York’s slums in the mid-1800s. Moth runs the gamut of despicable people who take advantage of her in horrible ways, but she keeps a strong will to live and hopes for a better future. Ami McKay intersperses Moth’s narrative with the perspective of Moth’s doctor friend, who sheds light on various practices and superstitions that rule lives and dictate some of the treatment Moth receives.

I gave this novel three stars because it was enjoyable to read and contained some interesting historical research, but it didn’t really wow me. It’s not the type of book I usually read, and the overly simplistic and, at times, formulaic plot weren’t robust enough for me. I’m looking forward to discussing The Virgin Cure in my new book club to hear more perspectives.


— The Virgin Cure by Ami McKay is published by Knopf Canada in 2011.