Sunday, November 13, 2016
A strange thing, words. Once they're said, it's hard to imagine they're untrue.
I wasn't sure what to expect when picking up A Mad, Wicked Folly. Like, at all. Speaking from experience it often feels overdone when it comes down to historical fiction in that era. And, I'll admit it, I was more-so intrigued by the cover art than its timeline. Save it, all the judgment, I've been punishing myself for choosing a book by its pretty cover for years and I have it covered. Despite this, the novel itself appealed to me because it seemed to be one of those cozy, indulgent books you'd pick up to escape the world and relax. A comfort read.
A Mad, Wicked Folly in a nutshell is exactly what I expected it to be. It was fast paced, enjoyable and full of life. But there were plenty of things wrong with it. I enjoyed it. I devoured it. I steadily indulged in it and its characters--but when I was done? I'm sorry say it wasn't something I would feel an itching desire to return to. I think there's a lot of fluffy goodness to be had in it and it's equal parts perfect for a day at the beach or a day by the fire--it's versatile.
In terms of historically accuracy, you can tell that Sharon Biggs Waller did her research and put forth a ton of effort in keeping it true to its timeline. There's just a general tone of realistic life in it that balanced with the fluffy, predictable bits quite well (without making up for it) and you have to give her that. She put forth a tone of vividness that really paints an elegant image of what Vicky is like and where the story could go.
A lot of my problems lay in the, here comes that word again, predictable turn of events. I felt like I knew where the novel was going to go on an emotional level before it progressed--like, the outcome of the love triangle, for example. I have to admit that was one of the biggest downgrades in A Mad, Wicked Folly and is precisely why it didn't quite reach a 4-star rating. It felt like, you have a great amount of imagery and romance and a solid voice, an even better prose, yet it just doesn't quite hit the mark. And then there was the choppy pace that came about in between time that felt unnecessary to the central plots and struck me as dull.
Other pros are that the way that we see Vicky's world through narration is that it does transport you to that time. Don't get me wrong, there are moments in the novel where you're bored or want to shake someone, but the way that our eyes fill with images through the authors words is truly something. As I said, she has a very vivid description for quite a few things and it really, really, really helps set the scene for readers to curl up to. That's one of the reasons people read to begin with and A Mad, Wicked Folly does so seamlessly.
Fans of historical fiction and romance will surely have flocked to this release and will continue to make it. The novel, overall, hits all the right marks for a great many topics and is just what some readers will need in between time.