Book Review: A Mad, Wicked FollyAuthor: Shanon Biggs Waller
Published: January 2014
Genre: YA Historical Fiction
The Setting - Taken from Goodreads
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?
My Two Cents
I've got to hand it to Waller. This book could have been a complete disaster if it weren't for her character building of Vicky. I mean, how many girls would be comfortable (or willing) posing nude in 1909 for an art class? And how would her character grow (or stay consistent) in the wake of such a scandal? It was a true delight to follow Vicky on her journey from downfall to struggling to achieve her dreams. Vicky is always true to herself and does not need a man to stand by her side (though it was nice when Will was in the picture. Le sigh!). I loved this story. Is it an all time favorite? No. Does it set an excellent precedent for character building? Hell yeah! I'm going to award A Mad, Wicked Folly 4 out of 5 stars. Read this if you enjoy historical novels (with some romance), especially if women's rights in the early 1900's sounds intriguing!