More titles to consider

Shopping Cart

You're getting the VIP treatment!

With the purchase of Kobo VIP Membership, you're getting 10% off and 2x Kobo Super Points on eligible items.



From the author of the number one Canadian bestseller The Birth House comes the story of a young girl abandoned to the streets of post-Civil War New York City.

"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."

Set on the streets of Lower Manhattan in 1871, The Virgin Cure is the story of Moth, a girl abandoned by her father and raised by a mother telling fortunes to the city's desperate women. One summer night, twelve-year-old Moth is pulled from her bed and sold as a servant to a finely dressed woman. It is this betrayal suffered at the hands of her own mother that changes her life forever.

Knowing that her mother is so close while she is locked away in servitude, Moth bides her time until she can escape, only to find her old home deserted and her mother gone without a trace. Moth must struggle to survive alone in the murky world of the Bowery, a wild and lawless enclave filled with thieves, beggars, sideshow freaks, and prostitutes. She eventually meets Miss Everett, the proprietress of an "Infant School," a brothel that caters to gentlemen who pay dearly for "willing and clean" companions-desirable young virgins like Moth.

Moth also finds friendship with Dr. Sadie, a female physician struggling against the powerful forces of injustice, who teaches Moth to question and observe the world around her. The doctor hopes to protect Moth from falling prey to a terrible myth known as the "virgin cure"-the tragic belief that deflowering a "fresh maid" can cleanse the blood and heal men afflicted with syphilis-that has destroyed the lives of other Bowery girls.

Ignored by society, unprotected by the law, Moth dreams of independence. But there's a high price to pay for freedom, and no one knows that better than a girl from Chrystie Street.

People who read this also enjoyed

Get a 1 year subscription
for / issue


The Virgin Cure: A Novel
Average rating
4.6 / 5
The Virgin Cure: A Novel
October 22nd, 2014
Loved the story. Great development of characters. I even read the author notes.
Helpful? Yes | No | Report

1 review
The Virgin Curd
July 26th, 2014
Although fiction learned much about plight of young people during this ti me period of city living.
Helpful? Yes | No | Report

1 review
The Virgin Cure : A Novel
May 22nd, 2014
A good enough book that ended to soon !
Helpful? Yes | No | Report

1 review
Loved it
April 3rd, 2014
Historical fiction at its best for me. Characters you become attached to, and appalling accounts of life in that time period. This author is great hiwecer. I also lived her other novel The Birth House
Helpful? Yes | No | Report

1 review
Virgin Cure
September 21st, 2013
Great reading. Clear and heart wrenching story. Loved it, didn't want it to end.
Helpful? Yes | No | Report

1 review
An interesting read.
August 14th, 2013
At times this book was a real page turner for me. It shows how little opportunities there were for girls back in 1871. The ending was happy though and I'm glad for that. I recommend this book as its a fun read.
Helpful? Yes | No | Report

1 review

You can read this item using any of the following Kobo apps and devices:

  • IOS