Thursday, January 9, 2014

A Mad, Wicked Folly by Sharon Biggs Waller

A Mad, Wicked Folly
Author: Sharon Biggs Waller
Publisher: Viking Juvenile (Penguin)
Publication Date: January 23, 2014
♥ Amazon

I’m not usually a fan of historical fiction. Whenever I read it I suddenly become a fact-checker. I end up spending hours on Wikipedia reading what actually happened, rather then enjoying the story. A Mad, Wicked Folly started that, it took a bit for me to get in to the story but after the first quarter I was drawn in to the world Waller creates and couldn’t wait to find out what trials Vicky would go through next!

The story follows Vicky, an upper class girl. After she poses nude for an art class she is forced to leave her French finishing school and return to London. When she gets home she is not greeted by friendly faces and all of her art school dreams are thwarted at every turn, because girls don’t need to go to college.

I liked Vicky immediately because I could see a lot of myself in her. She is feisty, goes after what she believes in, and has a strong sense of duty. I also really liked the fact that she was reluctant to join the suffragettes. Vicky had to be convinced and I found a lot of parallels between the suffragettes and today’s women’s movement. I have to make a bit of a confession, for a long time I thought feminism was played out. My opinion was that women are equal to men and anything a man can do I can do. It wasn’t until I moved to a different part of the country, in to a male dominated profession that I began to realize women and men are not equal. Although women have come a long way over the past 100 years there is still so far to go!  Reading this book forced me to admit that I am a feminist. I had been reluctant to label myself as such for a long time, but reading about women’s struggles in the 1910’s reflected so many of my own wants and ideals that I became a bit of a suffragette through Vicky.

I also liked the love story between William and Vicky. Will is a police constable and through the suffragette’s he meets Vicky. I liked that Will was open to new ideas and equality for women. He was always supportive of Vicky’s art and anything she became involved in. He was truly just an all around good guy. Not my usual type at all, but Vicky is engaged to Edmund so I guess that made their love off-limits, maybe that’s why I enjoyed it so much. 

Overall, this was a great story. It is perfect for people who are usually on the fence about historical fiction (like me) and anyone interested in art or the roots of the women’s rights movement. 


  1. I don't read a lot of historical fiction either, but I'm excited for this one. I've considered myself a feminist since I was a Sassy magazine reading teen and I love books that focus on feminist issues. I'm glad you enjoyed this one. I tend to give up on books that don't snag me right away, so it's good to know this one takes awhile to get into. Great review!

  2. I read a lot of Historical Fiction and this one has been one of my most anticipated. So glad to hear that it was a good read!

    Em @

  3. I have seen such great things about this book--I am very eager to get my hands on it now! I am so happy to hear that the love story is well done but most importantly that Vicky is a great MC.

  4. Sounds interesting; nice review

  5. So glad you enjoyed it! I really felt just about the same. Such a refreshing read. Eager to read more from this author.