Review: The Kure – Jaye Frances
For all the strength of mankind there are many things we fear and amongst the worst are diseases. I remember my history from school, college and university, especially the Black Death which terrorised Europe in the mid-14th century and reduced the population of England from 6 to less than 2 million. In Jaye Frances’ The Kure we have a nasty disease but not an epidemic here, more a solitary case for one unfortunate individual.
John Tyler is not having a good day when he wakes to find he has been infected by some kind of plague. Worse for poor John is the disease is visible around his private parts and is proceeding to spread and deform its victim. John seeks out the local doctor who suggests the very risky treatment of bleeding with the aid of leeches. However, there is an alternative treatment known as the Kure which is derived from a demonic text and it involves the use of an innocent. Becoming desperate John must choose between the conventional cure or the dark, alternative Kure.
You have to sympathise with poor John Tyler. The infection around his groin is described in gruesome fashion and not only is it both hideous it is extremely painful. John doesn’t know what to do to cure himself. He is concerned about the treatment the doctor is offering with leeches to drain him of the poison. The methods in the Kure are equally concerning. John must not only find an 18 year old virgin but she must be willing to take John’s manhood in her mouth until the affliction is gone! Not the kind of proposition you want to approach someone with! The only other alternative is for John to find a virgin six years younger than him, have her not know about his poisoning and to run naked with him beneath the rain on a moonlit night. With three options before him and John facing the prospecting of his body being deformed and ultimately poisoned he has a decision to make.
John’s struggle is well conveyed in the novel and you really do feel his pain. Men reading this may be inclined to cross their legs on occasion, such is the emphasis on John’s struggle. He delays treatment with the doctor and seeks out Sarah Sheridan, an eighteen year old virgin, and he plans to ask if she will perform the ritual to help cure him. However, John finds himself falling for Sarah and, unwilling to reveal his intentions, he ends up confessing his predicament. Surprisingly, Sarah, who believed John had come to court her, is eager to help him and looks into the solutions that the Kure has to offer. The question is can Sarah or the Doctor save John before it’s too late.
I enjoyed The Kure. I found John’s dilemma very intriguing and given the society he is in, the methods behind the Kure are tantamount to scandalous and causing severe outrage. Sarah is a great character, resourceful, independent and strong, determined to help John any way she can. Whether she succeeds is not for me to say of course.
The Kure is a good tale with the central character in the midst of the most awful predicament. The primitive methods of medicine conveyed here will make you grateful for the advances of today. It’s shocking to think what little options people once had.
(Book source: reviewer received a copy in exchange for a fair and honest review)