Wanda Lynne Young: Bookalicious


The Virgin Cure by Ami McKay

A Dickensian Tale with a Brothel Backdrop

Ami McKay is the author of the bestselling novel The Birth House which also happens to be one of my favourite books of all time. I reviewed the novel shortly after it was published so I like to say I "called it" first as a bestseller!  I had the awesome opportunity to have lunch with Ami at a recent Random House Canada author event. Ami was such a dear, and just like I expected, she was very approachable right from her first hug hello to the gracious signing of her new book.

Ami McKay's anxiously anticipated new novel The Virgin Cure was just released to the sighs and cheers of fans all across book club land. After only a few weeks on the bookstore shelves, the accolades are collecting and anticipation for a sequel is mounting. 

The Virgin Cure is set in the 1871 lower Manhattan tenements and inspired by Ami's own great-great-grandmother who was a groundbreaking female physician during this era. The novel starts out in the voice of Moth,

“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.”

At the tender age of 12, Moth's mother sells her to serve as a personal maid to a woman of means. Moth learns just how cruel a person can be at the hands of Mrs. Wentworth but she also leans kindness from the butler Nestor who teaches her to write and gives her some advice and skills to survive. Eventually Moth finds a friend in Mae who shows her the path to a better life in Miss Everett's brothel house. This is where the title of the book is referenced since the young women of the era were falling prey to the myth of using an unspoiled girl to cure a man of disease.

Moth wants better for her life and reflects on her upbringing,

"I hated being poor. Mama never did anything to make our life seem better than it was. She'd spend her days making something out of nothing for everyone else but when it came to inventing happiness for me, it was too much trouble. I won't be like you, Mama. I won't fade away."

Check out the book trailer to get a feel for the story:

To read more of Moth's story you can check out an excerpt from The Virgin Cure and don't forget to enter the book draw at the end of this post!


The Yummy Mummy Book Club will be reading The Virgin Cure for the month of December. Our #VirginCure Twitter chat will take place on Wednesday, January 11, 2012.


To find out more about Ami McKay, her books and author events, visit her website www.amimckay.ca. You can follow Ami's tweets on Twitter: @sideshowami and like Ami's Facebook Page.



Random House Canada has 2 copies of Ami McKay's THE VIRGIN CURE to give to 2 lucky Bookalicious readers. To enter the book draw leave a comment saying why you would like to read Moth's story.

Yummy Rules and Regulations
You must be a Yummy Mummy Club member to win. Click to sign up! It's free and filled with perks. One comment per member. Entries accepted until December 12, 2011. Contest open to Canadian residents. Winners will be picked using www.random.org. Please mark the email [email protected] as a "safe sender" when you enter a Bookalicious giveaway and respond within 1 week to claim your prize!

Follow Random House Canada on Twitter: @RandomHouseCA @BookLounge and find them on Facebook: BookLounge.ca.

Book and CD Cover images published courtesy of Random House Canada. Photo of Ami courtesy of © Ian McKay