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3.32  ·  Rating Details  ·  441 Ratings  ·  96 Reviews
Three fates intertwine in this moving and passionate love story set in Victorian London.

Mary Finn: country girl, maid to a lord in London

Caden Tucker: liar, scoundrel, and heart's delight

James Nelligan: age six, tossed into a herd of boys

When Mary Finn falls into the arms of handsome Caden Tucker, their frolic changes the course of her life. What possesses her? She's been
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published May 11th 2010 by Wendy Lamb Books
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(showing 1-30 of 2,521)
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May 31, 2011 Kogiopsis rated it it was ok
I honestly don't know why I didn't like this book. I mean, yes. I picked it up because the cover looked all fantasy-ish and I thought I'd get a fantasy and fairies out of it, but when I read the blurb I knew that wasn't going to happen. If I'd been looking for a book like this, I would have been satisfied, but I wasn't.
Why did I finish it, then?

Well, it's pretty well-written. And it seemed well-researched, though I'm not sure whether or not it is. The voices of the characters are distinct and in
Jennifer Rayment
Jun 22, 2010 Jennifer Rayment rated it really liked it
The Good Stuff

* Beautifully written
* Written so eloquently and real that you feel you are back in the late 1800's
* Heartbreakingly sad
* Great story for convincing kids to use birth control
* Impossible to put down, you care so much for EVERYONE in the story
* James: I must adopt that boy and give him a great big hug
* Extremely impressed with authors attention to detail and a truly remarkable gift for storytelling in all era's. I look forward to reading more of her works. I have also reviewe
Bookventures Book Club
Jul 13, 2010 Bookventures Book Club rated it it was amazing
Have you read Folly yet? If not then you have no idea that you are missing out on. This historical fiction by Marthe Jocelyn has all the elements of a great story; a strong cast of characters, great story line and plot that is not to obvious and the story is really well paced. But more importantly, it has a real message behind the story. By the time you get into this book, you would not want this story to end.

Folly is about a young woman Mary, who leaves her comfort zone in the country side to w
Jan 13, 2011 Jan rated it really liked it
Folly is an historical novel set in Victorian London, told in alternating voices. Mary Finn is a Lincolnshire country girl who is sent into service as a maid to an aristocratic family. Her mother has died giving birth and Mary is now a surrogate mother to her siblings, until her father re-marries a woman who has no interest in caring for her step-children. Mary, a thorn in her side, is sent away to learn to be a maid. James has spent his first six years as a foster child, but now has to return t ...more
Jan 31, 2011 Heather rated it really liked it
Okay. You got me. I shop by cover sometimes. Who doesn't? The cover catches your eye and you think I've got to have that! The same with shopping for clothes only for me it's books. Well, that's what happened with Folly. I had to know why the girl looked that way. I still don't know why, but it was a good book.

I started the book a little disappointed because it was written in 19th century vernacular. It was hard to understand at first. Then I don't know if the author stopped writing that way or I
I often feel my reviews for books that I didn't like are more informative than those for books I did like.
Sometimes it's difficult to describe exactly why you liked a particular book so much, this might be one of those times.

I will tell you I loved the character, James Nelligan, who's had a foster home with Mr. and Mrs. Peevey for the first six years of his life and now must return to the Foundling Hospital where he will learn to be useful and thankful that he was spared a life in the gutter o
May 08, 2010 Jennifer rated it really liked it
Product Details

* Pub. Date: May 11, 2010
* Publisher:Random House Children’s Books
* Format: Hardcover, 256pp
* Sales Rank: 432,074
* Age Range: Young Adult

* ISBN-13: 9780385738460
* ISBN: 0385738463

Folly by Marthe Jocelyn is a historical fiction journey through Victorian England told through the eyes of four separate characters. The first character that we meet is Mary. Mary’s mother died and she was forced to take care of her younger siblings until her father remarried. The woman he remarrie
Brittany (Nice Girls Read Books)

What I expected from Folly and what I got were two very different things. Constantly alternating points of view do little to keep hold of your interest, but create a nice surprise when coming full-circle in the end.

The alternating perspectives throughout the novel really irked me. Out of the four that take place (Mary, James, Eliza and Oliver) only two really had reason to. I felt that Eliza’s point of view was completely unecessary, and were often short and abrupt, and Oliver’s just felt out
Folly is a superbly written piece of YA historical fiction from Canadian author Marthe Jocelyn. Following the intertwined stories of a spirited boy living at a dickensian orphanage and a naive countrified "tweeny" (a housemaid who is between belowstairs and upstairs, doing jobs in the kitchen and in the house), Folly serves as a beautiful testimony for the oppressed women and children of victorian England who didn't have voices of their own. My only dislike was that I felt things tied up just a ...more
Mar 04, 2010 Karlan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya
This moving historical novel tells the story of a young country girl who becomes pregnant in 19th c. London and cannot care for herself or her baby. The Foundling Hospital accepts the infant and sends the mother on her way. In alternating chapters, the baby's story and the mother's show a picture of desperate times.
Jan 17, 2016 Megan rated it it was ok
Clearly well researched and the voice in the sections written by Mary was strong and helped set the time period. However the story's pacing was a little out of whack and the story was highly predictable.

The alternating narrators detracted from the strength of "Mary's" voice and didn't really add much to the story. I also didn't really empathise with the characters. Mary didn't offer enough depth in her sections and she felt like a very non-descript character. There wasn't any defining character
Mar 12, 2015 Tammie rated it really liked it
I very much enjoyed this book. I felt for Mary and James and the end brought tears to my eyes. It was predictable, but I don't really think the author meant anything to really be a surprise.
Mar 12, 2016 Dolores rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Historical fiction just isn't my thing, but I loved this story about London's Foundling Home. The story is told from the perspective of several different narrators, but the principal story belongs to two of them. The way the pieces of the story fit together and draw all the elements together was beautifully done, and, in spite of all the heartbreak and sorrow, this is a hopeful book. Life in the Foundling home was not easy, and that is depicted here. But it isn't over-dramatized or demonized, an ...more
Jan 30, 2010 Jennifer rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult-teen
Oct 01, 2015 Bettielee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This lady really knows how to tell a story. I love it when you just fall between the pages. This had just the right touch of familiarity, for someone who reads Victorian fiction, either the original or the modern historical. And this is very Dickens – we know he visited the setting of the Foundling Home in the story, according to one of the teachers. What I mean is, it doesn’t take place in the parlors, but belowstairs, where the falls from grace were shorter, but the landing was much, much hard ...more
I've had Folly for years, waiting patiently on my bookshelf to be read. Finally it seemed like the right time to pick it up. While this historical fiction novel is not my favorite, I do think that it was very interesting and know lots of people would enjoy it. I'm actually surprised that it isn't more well-known; I don't know anyone who's had the chance to read this book!

Folly follows several different characters in Victorian London. Through all of their lives I gained a greater understanding of
Sep 06, 2010 Debbie rated it really liked it
The chapter's in this alternate from the points of view of various characters and tells Mary and James's stories. At first they appear to be completely separate stories and it isn't until near the end that you find out how the two stories are related. I found both stories fascinating and heart wrenching. Mary was so naive and she soon finds herself pregnant with Caden's child but he disappears on her. Watching Mary come to terms with what she must do for the well-being of the child made me want ...more
Jul 24, 2010 Cait rated it really liked it
I took a break from my regular fantasy/sci-fi/paranormal and decided to read a bit of historical fiction. I am so glad I did! FOLLY tells the story of four people living in the 1800s who are all connected in some way. It's a brilliant fictional look into that era, and keeps it's basis in historical fact.

The characters are done wonderfully, and are very distinct. Not only are their voices easy to keep separate, their personalities are very apparent. Each one has had a different upbringing, and Jo
Sep 11, 2010 Kapri rated it really liked it
Shelves: blog-reviewed
I was expecting Folly to be totally different than it was. I'm not sure what I thought it would be about. The description didn't give much information about what it would really be about, nor did it say much about the plot. All I know is that it was in a historical time period, and it sounded like a love story, so of course I picked it up the first chance I got.

Folly wasn't a romance like I thought it would be. But that's okay, because the story was amazing without it. It was a little slow at fi
Jul 26, 2010 Emily rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed-books
Folly is a book that I discovered entirely through book blogs, and I was excited to land a spot on a tour for it. Despite the kind of unusual looking cover and the strange expression on the cover model's face, this book isn't paranormal in the slightest; rather, it's extremely vivid, detailed historical fiction that combines the brutality of life for working people in this time period with an effervescent hope and desire for a better life.

Mary Finn starts her life living in the country but, upon
Aug 03, 2011 Kate rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2010
Told in an authentic voice, Folly is an eye-opening look at not only the ramifications of our choices, but also 19th Century English society. Jocelyn immediately captured my attention with her eye for detail. The setting, the language, the personality were all fantastic. It was like I was given a glimpse into the heart of this society.

Folly is a novel that, for some, may be a bit difficult to get into. As I said previously, Jocelyn uses fairly authentic language. Using the language in this way,
Aug 16, 2010 Sensitivemuse rated it liked it
It took me a while to get into this story. It’s a bit slow paced, but I thought Mary was such a great character in this novel, that she prevented the story from becoming dry and boring. The descriptions of Victorian London was well written and well done, especially done through the eyes of James, who has never before been to London, and seeing things through a child’s eyes makes the descriptions clear and very easy to picture.

Eliza, as a character was such a mean spiteful harpy you almost wante
Jan 16, 2013 Lina rated it liked it
Shelves: ya
Ahhh, here’s a book set in the 19th century. No Jack the Ripper wannabe ghosts in this here book.

When Mary’s mother dies, Mary assumes all the responsibilities of keeping their poor, rural household together and caring for her younger siblings. It is a hard life, but Mary loves her brothers and especially her baby sister. When her father remarries, her mean-spirited stepmother sends her away to work at her sister’s inn. While at the inn, Mary meets a young, upper class mother who has no idea wha
Emily Ellsworth
I knew very little about this book going into it. All I knew was that it was historical fiction. And... honestly, I'm not the biggest fan of historical fiction. I like my stories with a bit of the impossible mixed in.

I was not expecting the emotional reaction that I had to this book.

I got absolutely sucked into Mary's story. And for the four hours that I spent reading this book I shared in her happiness, vulnerability, and intense sadness. Marthe Jocelyn has created a masterpiece of historical f
Mary Finn is a girl from the country, sent away after her mother died and her father remarried. She gets a job as a maid in London, but soon some of her choices threaten her job and her virtue.
James Nelligan is an orphan who was taken in by a nice family until he was six. When he turned six he had to return to a home for foundlings. There he learns many things as he comes of age though the one thing he really wants to know(who his parents are) my soon be closer than he realizes.

This was a nice h
Chelsea Couillard-Smith
I do enjoy a good Victorian England setting. Told through alternating voices, Folly is the story of Mary Finn, a devoted older sister to her motherless siblings forced by her father's new marriage into a life of service. She makes the mistake of falling in love and soon finds herself "in trouble," as they say. At the same time, we follow the story of James Nelligan, a foundling raised in the country now returning to be educated at the Foundling Hospital in London, leaving behind a foster family ...more
Apr 14, 2012 Gail rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult
Folly is an amazing book and the author mangaes to squeeze in countles emotions in to less then 300 pages.

Folly is written in two perspectives, one in 15-year old Mary's perspective and the other in a young child named James. Mary is sort of like your typical cinderella. Her mother dies and her stepmother decides to send her away from the family and become a maid in London. James on the other hand is a child that was abandoned by birth. Living through the foster care, his foster parents must se
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Cat for

Mary Finn is only fourteen years old when she's forced out of her home in rural Lincolnshire at the behest of her new stepmother to act as a servant for the woman's sister at her roadside inn. Sixty-seven days later, Mary flees to London as nanny to Lucilla Allyn's infant son, only to discover the position is unavailable upon arrival.

Despite her lack of domestic skills, Mary is able to secure employment as maid in the Allyn household and soon becomes ensconced
Jul 21, 2010 Tara rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc
I love historical fiction. I have to admit that I'm not a fan of every era, but if a book is set in one of my favorite eras as Folly is, I'll give it a good look. When I first heard of Folly, I filed it away on my to-be-read list, and when it arrived in the mail I devoured it within a day, which is pretty quick for me!

I have to admit that this story is not an uplifting one, but I'm okay with that. There are snippets of hope admist the dismal days that Mary, James, Eliza and Oliver spend their li
Sep 07, 2010 Rachel rated it it was ok
This historical fiction novel set in Victorian England is short and sweet but misses the boat when it comes to developed characters. The chapters alternate between four different narrators with the most time being spent on the two central characters. Mary Finn a fourteen year old girl who moves to the city to become a nanny for a wealthy family and James Nelligan a young orphan boy who is adjusting to his new life in a boy’s home. Mary finds herself in trouble when she falls in love with a solid ...more
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Canadian born
22 books published for young readers"
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“Don't go wishing for what you know nothing about.” 6 likes
“He had a real mother, and a stepfather named Bart who Martin called Fart but only with his brothers and James” 2 likes
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