The Virgin Cure
By Ami McKay, Vintage Canada, 350 pages, $22
It’s 1871 in New York City, and 12-year-old tenement girl Moth has just been sold by her mother to a rich woman. She ends up in the Bowery, living in a brothel and being groomed for some wealthy man.
The Music Instinct
How Music Works and Why We Can’t Do Without It
By Philip Ball, Oxford University Press, 452 pages, $21.96Philip Ball blends the latest research in brain science with history, mathematics and philosophy to offer the first comprehensive, accessible survey of what is known about how music works and why it seems so indispensable to humanity.
The Water Man’s Daughter
By Emma Ruby-Sachs, Emblem, 320 pages, $17.99
A Canadian water company executive’s death in Johannesburg brings together three women: a black activist who hates the “water men”; the executive’s daughter; and a policewoman whose loyalties are increasingly unclear.
The Magician King
By Lev Grossman, Plume, 400 pages, $17
Quentin Coldwater, graduate of a secret college for magic, is now king in the “fictional” utopia of Fillory. But he’s restless, and yearning for a heroic quest.
The Night Circus
By Erin Morgenstern, Anchor Canada, 512 pages, $21
Le Cirque des Rêves is a mystery in its own right, with its strange exhibits and bizarre performers. But the circus is just background for an ongoing magical competition between youngsters Celia and Marco – who do not realize they are in a duel to the death.