Book Blog--A MAD, WICKED FOLLY by Sharon Biggs Waller
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? (from Goodreads)
As a fan of Edwardian England and suffragettes, I had to read this book. I'm very fortunate to be part of a historical fiction blog (Corsets Cutlasses and Candlesticks) with Sharon and even luckier that I got a sneak peek.
Vicky is--as you can tell from the synopsis--a girl ahead of her time, and she doesn't wait for her times to catch up with her, she just forges on ahead. She is vibrant, passionate, principled and ever so courageous. I fell in love with her immediately (and with her genuinely endearing counterpart, William the swoon-worthy London bobby). And all of the secondary characters--from Vicky's journalist brother to her new lady's maid to the very historically real suffragettes--leap off the page.
Waller weaves impeccable historical details into this rich and complex story, making it one to savor. And read again.
(A Mad, Wicked Folly will be released on January 23rd).