Book Talk: A Mad, Wicked Folly by Sharon Biggs Waller

Book Talk: A Mad, Wicked Folly by Sharon Biggs WallerA Mad, Wicked Folly by Sharon Biggs Waller by Sharon Biggs Waller
Published by Viking Juvenile on January 2014
Genres: YA Historical Fiction
Format: Hardcover
Source: Gifted




Want an “at a glance” look at what I thought? Check out my Review On A Post-It or my “Final Thought”


When Vicky gets kicked out of her French finishing school when someone finds out she has posed nude for her art class she’s sent home to face her parents who are outraged at how she’s disgraced the family and they are trying to marrying her off to save the family name and her social status. While she tries to pretend to play nice with her parents rules and plans for her life, she really is applying to the Royal College of Art behind their backs, finding a growing interest in the suffragette movement and spending time with a man her parents and their social circles wouldn’t approve of. She dreams of being an artist but at what cost?



Historical fiction used to be my one true love, friends. In the past couple years I haven’t read as much of it but this book reminds me why I LOVE it so much. The truly excellent historical novels, like this one, transport me so flawlessly into this sliver of the past and leave me with this insatiable thirst to research that time period or event or find more fiction set in that time.

So what was so great about A Mad, Wicked Folly?

1. The setting: London in 1909 = Edwardian era goodness! The height of the suffragette movement there! Plus Vicky’s world is high society and balls and pretty dresses. I was just so immersed as Sharon just so perfectly and with detail painted the setting for the reader to feel instantly transported to that time. I could feel the tension in the social structure and in the women’s rights movement as well.

2. Vicky is such a dynamic character: Girl is FEISTY and incredibly passionate about her art and I loved it. She’s not a perfect character and that’s what I loved about her. She only really seems to be interested in the suffragette’s works at first because it can further her dreams of going to art school. She has her prejudices, due to her upbringing, that will make you cringe. But it all felt so realistic. How her eyes were opened to the things that the suffragette’s were fighting for. How she looked differently at the social constructs after the things she experienced. I loved watching her growth SO MUCH as she fights to be able to create the art she so desires, asks the hard questions and questions

3. It made me just feel so thankful for these suffragettes: Reading this book and watching what the suffragette’s are doing in this time just made me so grateful for all these women who did so much to give me all the right’s I have. They were laughed at and jailed and treated AWFULLY and still they fought. It was so incredibly inspiring and I just love reading about strong, passionate women. Made me not want to take forget how far we’ve come but also so sad for the ways that as women we still are not looked at as equal to men.



factors+plot, characters, romance, setting, writing

Re-readability: Yes!
Would I buy a copy for my collection? Already have one thanks to Jen!

a5historical fiction lovers, people who like reading about strong women, people who like reading about women’s rights subjects, people who are new to historical fiction (bc this one is SO great!).

a8A Mad, Wicked Folly was just one of those books that reminds me why I love historical fiction — I felt so transported to the setting, found myself immersed in the characters ad plot and it gave me this fierce need to LEARN afterwards. I loved Vicky’s journey as she fights to pursue her art when society is positioned against her and then having her eyes opened to the injustices of the time which make her question everything she was ever told.

review-on-post-itA Mad, Wicked Folly


a8j* Have you read this one? What did you think? Similar or different from me? I would LOVE to hear regardless!
*If you haven’t read it, does it feel like something you’d be into?



The Perpetual Page-Turner


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About Jamie

Jamie is a 32 year old married lady (with a new baby!!) who is in denial that she's actually that old to be a married lady and a mom. When she's not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating ice cream, belting out Hamilton (loud and offkey) and having adventures with her husband, daughter and rescue dog.


  1. I haven’t read this one, but I plan to. I don’t so well with historical fiction – something the language doesn’t work for me or the pacing is slow and prevents me from getting into it – but this looks fantastic and I’ve heard great things, too! So glad you enjoyed it. I love when books remind me of why I read/love certain genres!

  2. Jamie, I am so, so happy to know that you enjoyed A Mad, Wicked Folly. I always feel a little trepidation when I send a beloved book to a friend, but I had a feeling it might be something you enjoyed, too. Like you, historical fiction has always been one of my favourite genres, but I don’t read it nearly as often as I should. Sharon’s book really reminded me of that and managed to strike that tenuous balance between being both entertaining and educational. I’m thrilled that I was able to share one of my favourite books of 2014 with you and to know that you ended up loving it as much as I did! 🙂

  3. Wow, this sounds AMAZING! I love historical fiction, but I usualy go for adult rather than YA when it comes to this genre. But I will definitely consider reading this, sounds right up my alley!

  4. I’m just like you. Love historical fiction, but don’t always read enough. And, I loved this book and also thought the same thing, “this is why historical fiction is my favorite genre!” BTW, I recently read The Baker’s Daughter — an adult book, but I highly recommend it. Here’s my review if you are interested:

  5. Wow! So much gushing! I guess I need to read this. I enjoy historical fiction.

  6. I am adding to my “to-read list”!! This sounds amazing! Plus after starting to watch the new season of Downton Abbey I am looking something historical with a little scandal mixed in! 🙂

  7. I’ve had this on my radar for a while! Another YA historical I’d rec is The Cure for Dreaming by Cat Winters, which also deals with suffragettes and the obstacles they faced.

  8. I loved A MAD, WICKED FOLLY so much. It definitely made me want to read more historical fiction, which is one genre that my varied reading tastes don’t bring me to very often. Hopefully I can change that this year! Glad to hear you liked it too. And what a gorgeous cover!

  9. This book has caught my eye for so long now! I think my elibrary has it, so I definitely need to check it out! I’ve also been wanting to read more historical fiction, so this would be a great one to start with! Thanks for putting this one back on my radar girl!

  10. I do not consider myself a historical fiction lover, though that is something I am working to change. And I think it started with this book. OH MY GOODNESS. I think I had pretty much the same reaction as you upon finishing. Such a well-crafted story and very timely with the kind of patriarchy that still exists today. I would recommend this as a stepping stone to someone like me who doesn’t usually read historical fiction but is interested in trying it out (:

  11. I’ve had A Mad, Wicked Folly for a year now… And I still haven’t read it. I really should though, because based on your thoughts here and those of many other people, it would be just my cup of tea. I love historical fiction, and this is one of my favorite eras in particular! And don’t get me started on Vicky, who sounds AMAZING. Definitely bumping this up the TBR pile!