The Virgin Cure - US and Canadian Editions

National Canadian Bestseller

CBA Libris Award “Book of the Year” Nominee

O Magazine July 2012 “The Books of Summer” pick

Book of the Month Club – “Blue Ribbon Pick”

“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 1871. 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. – From the publisher

“A finely crafted and remarkably researched tale.”
The Walrus (Canada)

“Thought provoking and beautifully rendered…”
-Booklist

“Strongly delineated characters and a vivid historical backdrop … [a] reflective novel, which quietly conveys fierce indignation about the savagery with which the rich prey on the poor in a world ruled by money.”
Kirkus

From #1 international bestselling author Ami McKay comes The Virgin Cure, the story of a young girl abandoned and forced to fend for herself in the poverty and treachery of post-Civil War New York City. McKay, whose debut novel The Birth House made headlines around the world, returns with a resonant tale inspired by her own great-great-grandmother’s experiences as a pioneer of women’s medicine in nineteenth-century New York. In a powerful novel that recalls the evocative fiction Anita Shreve, Annie Proulx, and Joanne Harris, Ami McKay brings to light the story of early, forward-thinking social warriors, creating a narrative that readers will find inspiring, poignant, adventure-filled, and utterly unforgettable.


Available in the USA – HarperCollins 
from your Local Bookseller, IndieBound, Amazon ,
Barnes & Noble
or Books-A-Million


Available in Canada via Random House
from your Local Bookseller or
online from Amazon.ca or Chapters Indigo.


In the UKOrion
Order from Amazon or Waterstones.


Germany – btb (TBA)

Italyle casa della vergini – Neri Pozza

6 Responses to The Virgin Cure

  1. […] historical fiction fiends: Far to Go by Alison Pick; The Carnivore by Mark Sinnett; The Virgin Cure, by Ami McKay; The Paris Wife, by Paula McLean; The Reinvention of Love, by Helen Humphries; Under […]

  2. […] In other instances, the light that results from penetration is the illusory light of physical and moral health. Such were the (ultimately flawed) perceptions of sexually-transmitted disease infected men who believed that they could cure themselves of their afflictions through sexual relations with a virgin. Carol Smart observes that according to the British medical establishment of the early twentieth century, such penetrative acts were not rape, as we might understand it today, but rather, in the words of Sir MacKenzie Chalmers, “a misdirected medical effort” (391). Penetration, in this instance, was understood as an effective, if misguided, way of gaining access to bodily health. Power, here, lies in the ability of a man to foist himself upon a child, of an upper-class male to demand access to the body of a lower-class female, of an infected body to infect and inflame an uninfected one. Such is the narrative that underpins Ami McKay’s recent novel, The Virgin Cure. […]

  3. […] The Virgin Cure by Ami McKay The Memory of Love by Aminatta Forna The Dovekeepers by Reamde by Neal Stephenson 1Q84 by Haruki […]

  4. […] let me say I am finding it hard to tear myself away from the book I am reading (The Virgin Cure, by Ami McKay). When I am reading a good book I will read it at the expense of all other things. I have actually […]

  5. […] here is a snippet from mckay’s website: […]

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