Historical fiction is a genre with which I am developing a fuller and more positive relationship. Based on past reading experiences, I had previously avoided this area of literature thinking it too dry or, even worse, too gushy and unrealistically romantic. But then, through a few excellent selections by my in-person book group, I began to really love historical fiction and also began to actively seek it out when making my reading choices.
In 2006, I read The Birth House
by Ami McKay. A-HA! This was great historical fiction! (The novel was a national bestseller in Canada and was longlisted for the 2008 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award.) When I heard McKay had another book being released, I was so excited and couldn't wait to immerse myself in it. The Virgin Cure
does not disappoint! Like The Birth House
, it encompasses everything I want in a...
Beyond the Book
As Ami McKay notes in the afterword of The Virgin Cure
: "In 1870, there were over thirty thousand children living on the streets of New York and many more who wandered in and out of cellars and tenements as their families struggled to scrape together enough income to put food on the table."
The New York Infirmary for Indigent Women & Children was opened on May 12, 1857 by Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell, who was born in 1821 in Bristol, England and is credited with being the first female to receive a medical degree in the United States. (This hospital still exists, but today it is...