Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Book Review: A Mad Wicked Folly by Sharon Biggs Waller

Historical fiction about a teen who wants to break the mold that society has prescribed for her. The premise of A Mad Wicked Folly says "win," and the book certainly delivers.

17-year old Victoria wants nothing more that to be an artist. A trained painter. What's the problem? Well, it's 1909 in London. Women are supposed to marry, run a household, and plan parties for their husbands.

A Mad Wicked Folly is about Victoria's struggle -- her absolute determination no matter how bad the odds -- to go to college to study art. She attended art classes on the sly while in France at her boarding school, but after posing nude for the artists in her class, she gets found out and is sent home.

Her reputation in ruins, as well as her father's reputation, she tries to appear to be what her family wants. She becomes engaged to an acceptable man and hopes that he won't care that she doesn't want to be the typical wife. On the sly, she is preparing a portfolio so she can apply to art school

Victoria gets involved with the women's suffrage movement because she wants to draw these women at their protests. She eventually gets deeper into the organization, helping create art for their posters and murals. She also meets a friendly police officer, who becomes one of her art subjects.

To put it simply, things blow up in Victoria's face, and that's pretty much all I'll say about this plot of A Mad Wicked Folly.

I have nothing bad to say about A Mad Wicked Folly. The pacing of the story kept me swept up. There was always a new challenge or obstacle, and the pages flew by. I loved Victoria -- even though I felt she was naive at times -- she's only 17. She's very spunky, resourceful, and very daring! I felt her frustrations. It is unbelievable how women were thought of in those times. Things aren't perfect now, but we've certainly come a long way.

The author's notes at the end of the book speak to the historical accuracy of the novel and make this book a great study of the time period, and in particular the women's suffrage movement. But, the story is so entertaining, you don't even realize you are learning a lot about history. That's just how I like my history lessons. And I think teens will enjoy A Mad Wicked Folly too. I can't wait to recommend this one.

Published by Viking Juvenile, January 23, 2014
Copy obtained from the library
420 pages

Rating: 5/5

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  1. I got my copy of this from the library and I can't wait to read it. It definitely sounds like something my teens would love too. I'll have to be sure to include into my Women's History month book display for March!

  2. This sounds really good. Added to my tbr list :)

  3. Glad to see you loved this one! I just got it for my Kindle and can't wait to work it in to my reading schedule.

  4. I also thought this book was amazing. I agree not really anything negative to say at all about the book. Great review.


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