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A Mad, Wicked Folly by Sharon Biggs Waller

Posted by Caitie F on January 13, 2014

Title: A Mad, Wicked Follymad
Author: Sharon Biggs Waller
Hardcover: 448 pages
Pub Date: Jan 13, 2014
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Rating: +++++

Summary from pub:

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?


We need more YA historical fiction, especially YA historical fiction that looks at the suffrage movement. Young women take all the rights they have for granted sometimes. Yes, we aren’t where we need to be, but we seem to forget all of the women who helped us get this far.

But this isn’t just a story about feminism and suffrage, it is a story about love, art, and following your dreams no matter what the cost.

No one expects anything for Vicky other than a good marriage where she will be a dutiful and doting wife and mother. Vicky’s true passion is art and she wants to go to the best school in London to learn and then live as an artist. It is much harder when she is sent home for posing in her art class in France. Her parents no longer trust her and want to marry her off as quickly as possible.

She is a headstrong young woman and won’t give it all up that easily. She finds ways to sneak out to get supplies and get her work done. Along the way, she meets some suffragettes and joins their cause, all while meeting a handsome police officer who offers to be the subject of her application to art school. She does not want to be caught, but she does not want to give up on her dreams, so it is all worth it.

There is so much drama in this book and it makes it so very hard to put down! I loved reading the historical context of the suffrage movement in London and how her parents treated Vicky (and how she handled the king!). I loved the subtle romance. I loved the plotting and sneaking. It was the perfect YA historical fiction book!

Have you read any good historical fiction lately?

One Response to “A Mad, Wicked Folly by Sharon Biggs Waller”

  1. Linda said

    This sounds terrific. Adding it to my library hold list now. I read Nine Rules To Break When Romancing A Rake which I really enjoyed. Not YA but I enjoyed it.

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