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- The Virgin Cure by Ami McKay
Thursday, 17 January 2013
Moth, a 12 year old girl from the slum tenements of Manhattan in 1871 is the daughter of a gypsy fortune teller. Her father leaves and Moth and her mother, like other families in the tenements struggle to live. A life in poverty becomes a grim fight for survival. However, Moth’s mother, whether through desperation or in an effort to give Moth a better life sells her as a lady’s maid. Moth’s life takes on many twists and turns, and she finds herself in the murky, seedier world of the Bowery. She is befriended by many people most of them dubious, such as Miss Everett who intends to exploit Moth’s virginity and sell it to a wealthy gentleman. However, there are some desperate to look out for her welfare, such as the intriguing Dr Sadie who administers medical care to the girls in Miss Everett’s care. She desperately attempts to lead Moth down a different path towards a better life.
From the start I loved this book. The subject matter of child prostitution is grim and there are some startling scenes in the book. However, this is a fascinating book, giving the reader a glimpse into the past. The characters are intriguing and the further you get into the book the more you want the best outcome for Moth. Her life and her experiences are heart breaking and in telling her story she draws the reader into her world, making us care about her.
*This review appeared on Lovereading.co.uk