In Edwardian London, a girl dreams of being an artist, despite her family’s disapproval.
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?
Sharon Biggs Waller moved to England in 2000, where she worked as a riding instructor at the Royal Mews in Buckingham Palace and as a freelance magazine writer. These days she is a dressage rider and trainer and lives on… More about Sharon Biggs Waller
* “At equal turns humorous and heartbreaking. . . . A must-have first purchase.”–School Library Journal, starred review
* “Waller’s intriguingly sympathetic characters, effortless and effective blend of history and romance, passion for her subject, and swift-paced plot make her a new YA voice to watch.”–Booklist, starred review
“[A] compelling coming-of-age tale that’s as good as any British period drama. . . . The Edwardian world here is so immersive and Vicky so likable that readers will want to put on the kettle on and settle in for a lovely read.”–The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“An enjoyable historical romp.”–Kirkus Reviews
Nominated for the American Library Association’s 2015 Amelia Bloomer Project List.
Nominated for the Young Adult Library Services Association’s 2015 Best Fiction for Young Adults List.
Selected for Booklist‘s Top Ten Historical Fiction for Youth.
Seclected for Booklist‘s Top Ten Romance Fiction for Youth. “This historical romance, set in 1909 London, has all the elements dear to readers of the genre, especially forbidden love, but the feminist tone and art-history focus add an edge.”
Selected for Booklist‘s Top Ten First Novels for Youth. “Waller’s intriguing characters and effortless blend of history and romance make her a new YA voice to watch.”
* “This book is outstanding historical fiction. Readers will become immersed in the story and admire Vicky’s commitment and risk-taking.”–Library Media Connections, starred review