The Innocents, Paperback Book
3 out of 5 (1 rating)


WINNER OF THE COSTA FIRST NOVEL AWARD 2012. LONGLISTED FOR THE WOMEN'S PRIZE FOR FICTION 2013. What if everything you'd ever wanted was no longer enough?

Adam and Rachel are getting married at last. Childhood sweethearts whose lives and families have been intertwined for years; theirs is set to be the wedding of the year.

But then Rachel's cousin Ellie makes an unexpected return to the family fold.

Beautiful, reckless and troubled, Ellie represents everything that Adam has tried all his life to avoid - and everything that is missing from his world.

As the long-awaited wedding approaches, Adam is torn between duty and temptation, security and freedom, and must make a choice that will break either one heart, or many. ' astonishingly accomplished debut which will draw comparisons between Segal and Zadie Smith and Monica Ali' Stylist.


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A Jewish angst-fest about Adam, who is getting married to Rachel, but finds himself drawn to her cousin Ellie. That's the novel in a nutshell, really. I appreciated the insights, good and bad, into the North London Jewish community - especially the food! - and found all of the characters to be believable if not sympathetic, but the whole plot is more of a drawn-out short story from a woman's magazine than a novel. Well written, but too introspective to get through in one sitting. (Edited to add: might have found the experience more stimulating had I realised while reading that this is a modern re-telling of Wharton's <I>The Age of Innocence</I>! D'oh!)

Also by Francesca Segal