Yes, I know I’ve been way behind on book reviews! I’ve still been reading but I read quite a few “fluff” books and nothing really worth a review. But now alas I have come across a book very worthy of a review. In fact, I think it will be added to my favorites list. And I will be looking to find the other books written by this author, which I’ll note below.
So this wonderful book is called The Virgin Cure by Ami McKay. It is a work of historical fiction set in late 1800’s New York City. It paints a detailed picture of what NYC was like during this era, which is a fascinating read all in itself. The fictional narrative is voiced by a female doctor and a young orphan girl from “the slums.” What I love most about this book is that it does such an excellent job of weaving in true, interesting historical information with the fictional plot–particularly when it comes to the medical history. After reading around 200 pages of the book, you will learn the story of the book’s title. In the 1800’s it was believed that a young virgin girl had some sort of magical or curative properties, and (most unfortunately) they were often kept “in stock” (so to speak) in brothels. Specifically, it was believed that a man could be cured from syphillis by having sex with a young virgin. If you’re horrified by this piece of history, try googling “swill milk” and read about it’s use in the 1800’s.
This book presents such a rich, vivid and yes, sometimes horrifying picture of the time period. The author must have done extensive, excellent research in order to present all the great information contained in this book. Learn about the use of human hair in jewelry, fashion, how the corset caused actual physical distortion of the body, early methods of birth control, how the central park zoo came to be, and so much more!
This author has also written a book entitled The Birth House which I plan on checking out soon.