Review: A Mad, Wicked Folly by Sharon Biggs Waller

August 4, 2014 Review 44 ★★★★

Review: A Mad, Wicked Folly by Sharon Biggs Waller
A Mad, Wicked Folly by Sharon Biggs Waller
(Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository)

Publisher: Viking
Source: Borrowed
Pages: 448
Release Date: January 23rd, 2014
Genres: Historical
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?


A MAD, WICKED FOLLY talks about a very real issue inside of a fictional story: women’s suffrage. For some reason I was kind of expecting this to be another THE LUXE, so when I realized it dealt with suffrage I was pleasantly surprised, especially at how well the two blended together.

While I knew about the hardships women went through in the time period, it was heartbreaking to really see Vicky struggle with the reality and want to actually do something about it. This book had a perfect balance of history and fiction and the result was very entertaining. It is obvious a lot of research went into it.

Characters in a gif:


fate“You will be a wife and a mother, and that is all.”

All her life Vicky has been told what she can and can’t do and in the book you see her rise and finally start to challenge that. She realizes how unfair women have it compared to men, especially when she wants to achieve her dream of being an artist, something that women aren’t really “allowed” to do. Educating women is frowned upon, for their only job is to provide children and listen to their husbands. I love how she didn’t bow down to anyone, and although she made some reckless decisions sometimes, she always fought for what she believed in.



Can I have a Will? I want one.

I loved “watching” their relationship develop. Although there are two love interests (kind of) Will takes the cake. It was great seeing how they met and how they slowly got to know each other. They challenged each other but they also supported each other.

All in all, I was very happy with this book. It wasn’t exactly what I expected, it was better. Definitely check this one out if you like historical fiction.

Rating Report
Overall: 3.7

44 Responses to “Review: A Mad, Wicked Folly by Sharon Biggs Waller”

  1. Nara

    This book was great! I have to admit, it wasn’t quite what I expected either, but I think it had a nice balance of fluffy and serious :)
    It definitely seemed really well researched- although that being said, I don’t know too much history, so it could’ve been all made up and I would’ve accepted it lol
    Nara recently posted…Review: The Astrologer’s Daughter by Rebecca Lim

    • Alise

      It really did! I read the afterword about the history and such and it was really interesting. Aha, true, I probably wouldn’t have noticed either.

  2. Kirsty-Marie

    I love ones that surprise you in a good way! Vicky sounds like a character you can admire and respect, even more so because of the time period. And realistic (even now, I mean, we all make reckless/stupid mistakes. I don’t even know a Will, but I want a Will. ;)
    Kirsty-Marie recently posted…Review: Between the Lives

    • Alise

      Me too! Yes! Especially because of the time period. It was really refreshing. Heck yes, free Will for everyone! (That sounded a bit wrong)

  3. A Canadian Girl

    Oh, I love when books surprise you! I have this one in my TBR pile so thank goodness it’s different from The Luxe because I didn’t really like that book. I’m picky about my historical fiction novels so I’m glad that this one is a good blend of history and fiction. Thanks for reminding me about this one!
    A Canadian Girl recently posted…Review: The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson

    • Alise

      Right? Yeah, definitely different from the Luxe, completely. I can understand that, if a fiction book has too much history I tend to get a little bored (whoops). Sure!

    • Alise

      I haven’t seen it around too much either but I’m glad I discovered and read it! Yeah she really was, there’s also a lot of character development with her too. Yay!

    • Alise

      Aha, thanks! They basically go in just like images and there are specific sites that you can search for gifs using tags like “funny” or “person crying” or something. Me too! I think that’s why I enjoyed it so much. Yay! :D Thank you!

    • Alise

      Yeah we really could use some more standalones. She’s definitely independent, that’s for sure. Oh, he is :)

    • Alise

      I’m so glad! I really like historical fiction too and this one had a little bit of everything. Yeah, I know what you mean. Sure!

  4. Zoe @ The Infinite To-Read Shelf

    I really liked this one as well Alise! :) I had a bit of trouble connecting to Vicky and her toffy attitude at the beginning (I mean, what the heck was she thinking?!?!), but she eventually grew on me. She reminded me a lot of Rose from Titanic actually. And yes! I ship Will + Vicky forever! <33 Thanks for sharing Alise and, as always, BRILLIANT review! <3
    Zoe @ The Infinite To-Read Shelf recently posted…Heir of Fire Review + Giveaway!

    • Alise

      I totally know what you mean, and that made the character development all the more interesting. I really liked the person she turned out to be. Oh that’s a really good comparison. Me too :D Thank you!

  5. Rashika

    As a feminist, this book sounds like something I’d love but at the same time some of the things I’ve heard have me wondering if this one would really be for me. .-.

    I am glad you enjoyed this though! :DD And honestly, what is up with guys being Will being overly adorable/swoonworthy?

    Great review, Alise!! :)
    Rashika recently posted…Review: Boomerang by Noelle August

    • Alise

      I haven’t really read a lot of other reviews and don’t know too much about the subject but I was pretty happy with it. Then again I focusing more on the entertainment so I don’t really know for sure :p

      Right? I say we NAME ALL THE BOYS WILL.

      Thanks :)

    • Alise

      Aha, most definitely :) It really was! I was thinking about that too, flashback to history class. Thank you!

  6. Lola @ Hit or Miss Books

    I don’t think I would enjoy this book so much since women’s rights and what they can or cannot do is something I’m sensible at and this book could really enfuriate me I think. Shame, that cover is very pretty. I did see the ratings are low on Goodreads so I actually don’t feel so bad about it. Anyway, love the review and BELLE. xx
    Lola @ Hit or Miss Books recently posted…Review of Manga Classics: Pride & Prejudice by Stacy King, Po Tse and Jane Austen

    • Alise

      It is written in favor of women’s rights but whatever you’re comfortable with. 3.76 actually seems pretty good to me, haha.


    • Alise

      Thank you! Yay, I really hope you like it. Yeah, it’s a great feeling to have something exceed your expectations.

    • Alise

      Yeah, it was really interesting how the two sort of mixed together. Especially since I wasn’t expecting the book to talk about the subject at all. Aha, yeah :)

  7. Anna

    I’ve never heard of this book before but I love historical fiction and from what I can tell I will really enjoy it! I haven’t read The Selection series either but now these are both on my TBR list. I don’t know whats wrong with me, but whenever a book is on my TBR list I tend to find something else to read haha. This month I’m trying to stick to my TBR list and for now it’s working! XD Thanks for sharing, always love stopping by your blog!
    Anna recently posted…Thoughts & Discussions: Love Triangles

    • Alise

      I know exactly what you mean! Whenever I add a book to my Currently Reading shelf on Goodreads it NEVER gets read, it’s like some sort of curse xD That’s great-I wish I could do it, haha. Thank you :3

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