A Mad, Wicked Folly by Sharon Biggs Waller

Title: A Mad, Wicked Folly
Author: Sharon Biggs Waller
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Release Date: January 23, 2014

Summary 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?


I can agree with others when they say this book is well written, and when they say that it is relevant. I can agree when they say that Vicky was a strong-willed, passionate girl and easy to sympathize with. And I can agree when they say that Will Fletcher stole away their hearts. But unfortunately, I cannot agree with giving it 5 stars. For me, it fell short of that "WOW" factor even though I can't quite identify why. Perhaps my expectations were too high. But I still enjoyed it and find it deserving of praise.

I loved that this book focused on the suffragette movement. The wrongdoings that women had to endure at the hands of men in the past should not be underestimated. The strength of these women, or any group for that matter, that fought against such incredible odds, simply amazes me. Their story was inspiring.  I also loved the passion that Vicky displayed for her art and the lengths that she would go to to make sure it was a part of her life. While she didn't always make the wisest choices, and I didn't always agree with her, she found her purpose in the end and I was proud of how far she had come. However, the men in this novel, with the exception of Will Fletcher, could all go to hell. I understand that they are a product of their society but they still infuriated me and I hate them. Will Fletcher, however, is a godsend and I wish it didn't take Vicky so long to factor him into her equation. Anyway, I'll take him for my muse, thank you. Lastly, the ending was neatly done and satisfying.

That's about all I have to say about A Mad, Wicked Folly. It was definitely a strong book but I think the ratings speak to that. Even if it doesn't move you to 5 stars, as in my case, it is still a book worthy of being read.

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