7:30pm on Wednesday, November 9
Admission is free*
Alice MacKay room, Central Library
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Award-winning author Ami McKay discusses her latest novel, The Virgin Cure and writerFrances Greenslade reads from her first novel Shelter.
*Please let us know you are attending by registering in advance. Please note that registration is so that we know how many people to expect. Admission on the night is always on a first-come-first-served basis.
Ami McKay's The Virgin Cure is set in the tenements of lower Manhattan in the year 1871. As a young child, Moth’s father smiled, tipped his hat and walked away from her forever. The summer she turned twelve, her mother sold her as a servant to a wealthy woman, with no intention of ever seeing her again.
These betrayals lead Moth to the wild, murky world of the Bowery, where eventually she meets Miss Everett, the owner of a brothel simply known as “The Infant School.” Miss Everett caters to gentlemen who pay dearly for companions who are “willing and clean,” and the most desirable of them all are young virgins like Moth.
Through the friendship of Dr. Sadie, a female physician, Moth learns to question and observe the world around her. She knows the law will not protect her, that polite society ignores her, but still she dreams of answering to no one but herself. There’s a high price for such independence, though, and no one knows that better than a girl from Chrystie Street.
A spellbinding and wise coming-of-age story from Frances Greenslade, Shelter draws readers into the precarious world of two young sisters in search of their mother, and brings to life a breathtaking BC landscape.
Maggie is a born worrier who really believes that trouble comes in threes and that threats to her family's cozy but fragile life in Duchess Creek are never far. For reasons she doesn't understand, her father favours her over her carefree older sister, Jenny, and takes her on outings to the bush where he shows her how to build shelters using leaves, sticks and fir boughs. Just in case. When he is killed in a logging accident, Maggie thinks her worst fear has come true, but her father's death is only the first blow in the destruction of her family. Soon her mother, Irene, the one Maggie has never worried about, abruptly drops off her girls in Williams Lake to billet with the gloomy Bea Edwards and her wheelchair-bound husband, Ted.
Irene promises she'll be back for them, but weeks turn to months and then to years. When trouble finds the girls for the third time, it comes for Jenny, who is pitched into a situation too frightening to handle. Maggie decides that it's up to her to find Irene and repair their fractured family. Her quest not only to find but to understand her mother brings the novel to a powerful, wrenching conclusion.