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During the 3rd edition in 2011, I recommended Ami McKay’s The Virgin Cure.
Monica Miller Recommends The Virgin Cure by Ami McKay
Publisher: Knopf Canada (2011)
The Virgin Cure is the story of a young girl named Moth, growing up in lower Manhattan in the late 1800s. Moth is only twelve years old when she ends up homeless in the slums of New York with common thieves, beggars, freak-show performers and prostitutes. She is quickly recruited for a finishing-school-cum-brothel that caters to men interested in young, willing girls—particularly clean virgins such as Moth who were thought to “cure” syphilis. While the focus is on a female character, this is not simply “chick lit” or “women’s fiction”. McKay’s research has paid off and the imagery and atmosphere she evokes of 19th century New York is incredible. There is also something strangely alluring about the slums of old New York, the 1800s brothels, and a story based on historical truths.
Monica Miller | @monnibo
Monica Miller is a writer, editor, graphic and web designer living in Vancouver. She graduated from Langara College’s Publishing Program and is majoring in Communications at SFU. She blogs at www.monniblog.com about things that are happening around the city, book reviews, travel and crafty hobbies.