Zoe and I are pretty much bookish twins.
It’s insane how we rate and review books almost the same. Which means we must get together and compare thoughts! Last December we did a swap-review…and since it was super fun, we’re at it again.
We’ll be doing an interview/review. Zoe’s here on my blog, and if you go to hers I will be there! So obviously, go! Go!
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?
CAIT: What was the main thing about A MAD WICKED FOLLY that caught your attention?
ZOE: The cover.
Oh gosh…I’m turning into a Cait now…
CAIT: Mwhaha, my influence is unlimited. So, expand? Thoughts on the cover?
*snickers* I knew that question was coming!
ZOE: I really like it actually. It’s nice how the background is somewhat monochromatic and gray, and her dress pops out with this beautiful – almost neon – shade of yellow.
CAIT: Technically, there is a love-triangle (oohhhh). We have the rich son of a lord: Edmund. And then the poor constable: Will. What did you think of each of them and who did you ship with Vicky?
ZOE: Cait, unlike some people, I realize that you ship a specific person with Vicky. *cough*Will*cough*, and I think to ensure safety for all those who have ever read your blog, I must give you the answer you desire.
Personally, at first, I actually shipped Edmund and Will. (WAIT! Before you go all Rapunzel on me with your frying pans, let me explain!), BUT after a certain scenario, my loyalties shifted to ship Will and Vicky.
CAIT: Hey, I am a NICE person. (Usually.) Did Vicky ever annoy you with her “toffy” attitude?
ZOE: She definitely annoyed me at times – feeling she always had to prove herself to the extent where she posed nude in her art class simply to make a point, cheating on her husband, using people – but overall, I enjoyed her. She was unlikeable at times, but, then, who isn’t, right? This really gave her a realistic feel, which I enjoyed.
CAIT: Okay, art. I luuurve art. Tell me, Zoe, have you ever committed any acts of artistry?
ZOE: Pfft…I wish! But, alas, no. You see, this baby probably paints better than me, and I’m not even kidding…
Although the fact that you think I’m even capable of committing acts of artistry is actually quite flattering, I must say. 😉
CAIT: N’aww, such an adorable baby — but okay! Back to the book! Women’s rights and suffragettes were a huge part of the book. Did you, at any point, feel the need to sing the Suffragette song like Winifred from Mary Poppins? (Be honest.)
ZOE: *gives Cait a deer-in-headlights look*
What the heck is the Suffragette song?!?!? Am I supposed to know what it is?
CAIT: Where was your childhood?? That’s it. I’m educating you in Mary Poppins. (You’re welcome, by the way. Good thing you have a friend like me.)
CAIT: I hope you enjoyed that. Did you learn anything you didn’t know about suffragettes or that era?
ZOE: I learned that the fight for women’s rights didn’t just take place in America with Susan B. Anthony; but that it also took place in England as well, and some other details as well about how poorly the women were indeed treated during those times.
CAIT: Yes, yes, the British are very capable of throwing political tantrums. (But America does win big points.) Did the book surprise you at any point?
ZOE: Honestly, the whole book surprised me! I started out not really enjoying it and feeling a tad uncomfortable at an unspeakable scene in the beginning, but I really did warm up to it, which, frankly, I wasn’t expecting.
CAIT: What did you think of the writing? (And the uses of phrases like “pong” and “be dashed!”)
ZOE: Um…I’ll just stick to regular modern-day English, okay?
I really liked the writing. Waller has a way of incorporating history into the story that makes it seem so natural, so flowing, to the plot. It never feels like a burden to read. She also captured the essence of a teenage voice – in my opinion – surprisingly well.
The only complaint I have about her writing is that there were times when I felt the dialogue was a bit too modern. I caught bits and pieces of phrases we use today in the 21st century that I doubt were used in the early 19th century – much less in upper middle-class London of the 1900s. Other than that, though, it was great!
CAIT: Well, I actually USE “pong” in everyday talk, so…awkward. ANYWAY. Did the book end like you hoped or do you have anything to scowl at?
ZOE: *sighs* Cait…I know what this question is about, and I feel for you about the painful ending.
CAIT: What do you mean?! I liked the ending! Totally soppy and painty…okay, I’m going to need a tissue.
Don’t forget to stop by Zoe’s blog and see what questions she has for me to answer!
And a huge thanks to, Zoe, for agreeing to my insanity of a swap interview/review. She humours my crazy. Isn’t she the best?
Zoe is an avid reviewer, and a passionate book blogger/reviwer. Whenever she’s not reading or blogging (or reading Cait & Mime’s amazing posts!), she can probably also be found acting, doing gymnastics or eating chocolate. Find her at her blog, Goodreads, or twitter.