Ads 468x60px

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

MICHELLE'S REVIEW: A Mad, Wicked Folly by Sharon Biggs Waller

Title: A Mad, Wicked Folly
Author: Sharon Biggs Waller
Format Acquired: Hardcover
Publication Date: January 23, 2014
Publishing House: Viking Juvenile
ISBN: 9780670014682
Source of Copy: Purchased from Bestseller (Guam)


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 must figure out: just how much is she willing to sacrifice to pursue her dreams?

(Image, summary and information courtesy of Goodreads)


Vicky would like to offer her apologies for having offended the more delicate sensibilities of the ton by posing nude for her art class, but she knows that she will do it again in a heartbeat if it meant she could continue her craft. Vicky wants more to life than just the splendid dresses and handsome suitors - she wants to leave her legacy by becoming a full-fledged artist, something that no one but Will, the police constable, can understand. It is a changing world in 1909 London, where women are fighting for their rights as equals, and it is the same world where Vicky must decide if her desires and ambitions can trump everything that she's ever known.

There's just something so deliciously wicked about Vicky, that I couldn't help but want to become her friend just after a few chapters. She's determined, ambitious, but also funny - albeit unintentionally - and just positively bursting with life; traits in a young lady that the 1909 London high society just cannot tolerate. Vicky is hellbent on being an artist, and if it means that having to marry charming but selfish Edmund Carrick-Humphrey will be the gateway to her freedom, then so be it. Her plans are, however, thwarted when she finds a muse in the most unlikely of places, and that her college application may or may not be further strengthened by making caricatures and painting murals for the suffragette movement. Vicky is the kind of friend that your parents may not approve of, but she's exactly the kind of friend you'd want to keep around because she makes everything an adventure. Trouble certainly follows Vicky around as she is often caught at the wrong place at the wrong time, but it's decidedly what makes the novel come alive and take a mind of its own. Vicky's burgeoning romance with the handsome police constable, Will, is just as equally delicious, what with her amusing thoughts and their innocent, yet highly flammable touches.

I also liked reading about the suffragette movement, as it undoubtedly caused a major wave of panic. Where women were initially perceived as frail, fragile things - yes, things, possessions, to be exact - London is seeing a change in the tide where women are rallying for the same rights as men! This is a movement perfect for Vicky who faces her problem with the same endearing and passionate If the men can do it, then so can I! cavalier attitude.

READ this if you love historical fiction with a passion. READ this if you are all for a protagonist who although is deeply in love with a charming young man, will still stick to her guns about her wants and dreams in life. READ this if you want to be entertained by a lovely, spirited young woman who heralds the change of times in London. READ this if you delicious stories about love, art, and the power of passion!

Which is, you know, practically me falling all over myself to urge you to pick this up and prepare to be swept away. A Mad, Wicked Folly offers a rollicking good time peppered with just the right amount of romance and ambition.

I cannot wait for more books from this splendid author.



  1. I've always seen this at stores and I would admire the cover, but I never had the urge to pick it up. However, now that I know what it's about I'm very intrigued. Thank you for the review!

  2. I've just recently heard about this book and I love how the female protagonist is such a badass. I've always liked reading books with strong, independent female characters. Definitely intrigued and looking forward to reading this :)