Title: A Mad, Wicked Folly
Author: Sharon Biggs Waller
Welcome to the world of the fabulously wealthy in London, 1909, where dresses and houses are overwhelmingly opulent, social class means everything, and women are taught to be nothing more than wives and mothers. Into this world comes seventeen-year-old Victoria Darling, who wants only to be an artist—a nearly impossible dream for a girl.
After Vicky poses nude for her illicit art class, she is expelled from her French finishing school. Shamed and scandalized, her parents try to marry her off to the wealthy Edmund Carrick-Humphrey. But Vicky has other things on her mind: her clandestine application to the Royal College of Art; her participation in the suffragette movement; and her growing attraction to a working-class boy who may be her muse—or may be the love of her life. As the world of debutante balls, corsets, and high society obligations closes in around her, Vicky is torn. Just how much is she willing to sacrifice to pursue her dreams?
I wrote this review two years ago in March 2015, and I still rave about this book. Because the beginning of May was a hectic for me and I’m only now just catching up, I still wanted to bring you guys some content so I was a bit cheeky and I have copied my review of A Mad, Wicked Folly over to here because I still want to shove this book in to as many people’s hands as possible. However, please bear in mind that I have changed this review ever so slightly to accommodate the 2 years that have come in between (I still can’t believe I wrote this two years ago!). Enjoy and let me know if you’ve picked up this book!
A Mad, Wicked Folly was on my list of books that I really, really wanted in 2014, but never got round to buying until January 2015 came around and honestly, I could not think of a better book to spend my money on. As someone who loves YA, particularly Contemporary, I haven’t read much historical fiction despite the fact that I study (or now studied!) History at University, so this was an introduction to the genre and I wasn’t disappointed.
Set in the 1900s, it follows Vicky and her life of being a young, upper class girl almost rebelling against what society and her wealthy parents have set up for her. A Mad, Wicked Folly has a big focus on the Suffragette movement which I absolutely loved. I’m not sure that I’ve heard of many books that have the Suffragettes included in it so this was refreshing. As a (now newly finished) University student studying History, I loved this involvement of such an important movement for women. At the time of reading this, I only knew what I had been taught in high school lessons, however knowing what I do now of the Suffragettes, it was obvious that a lot of research had been done on the period and the Suffragettes. I personally think that if you’re writing a historical fiction, it is important to gather research so that it at least a slight bit factually correct, which this was. I actually leant some things from this book that I was not aware of, and it led me to do my own research! Quite frankly, this book was very interesting and I just loved reading it.
I loved was our main character Vicky, and that’s not just because we share the same name! Vicky was a unique character, in which she was different from her mother who I felt was a bit ‘all about the image’ which was quite typical for the period, whereas Vicky was a lot more focused on what she wanted out of life and how to get there, proving her to be more of a woman of the future. I think that having Vicky as the main character, who was such an empowering figure, was such a good move for this story, and I loved seeing her progression from where the book started to where we saw her at the end of it! One of the other characters, William, is
There are so many reasons I gave this book 5 stars, but mainly it’s because the writing style was wonderful, the characters were brilliant and I learnt something! I love learning new things and this provided that for me whilst also being a fun read. In all honestly, I adored this book and I do think about it sometimes even though I read it 2.5 years ago. I think that should demonstrate how much I enjoyed this book, and that it has stuck with me. I just wish many more people had read it as I think it’s so wonderful and I know many others would also enjoy reading it!
To add to my experience with this book, I recently got in touch with Sharon to tell her how much I loved it and Sharon, being ever so kind, sent me a signed bookmark and poem sheet which was so lovely. Sharon is so nice as well and such a nice lady to talk too! Since my initial conversation with Sharon, I have spoken to her a little bit more and she kindly sent me some material regarding her second book The Forbidden Orchid!
If there’s one thing I can add, it’s that you should most definitely give A Mad, Wicked Folly a read asap!
You can see more of my pictures (like above!) at here!