- Paperback: 448 pages
- Publisher: Vintage (10 Jan. 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0099569523
- ISBN-13: 978-0099569527
- Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.8 x 19.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (94 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 37,776 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Innocents Paperback – 10 Jan 2013
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"Delightful… Segal’s writing is wise, witty and observant." (Kate Saunders The Times)
"Wonderful...witty…an astonishingly accomplished debut which will draw comparisons between Segal and Zadie Smith and Monica Ali." (Stylist)
"An impressive debut...the struggle to achieve true adulthood, the loss of innocence and the consequences of adapting to a culture that levies certain expectations on its members, are all cleverly worked into a poised text" (Elizabeth Buchan Sunday Times)
"A subtle, witty and acutely observed study of a narrow but very recognisable world." (The Observer)
"Witty and touching... An assured and audacious debut" (Michael Arditti Daily Mail)
A very modern love story which tells the age-old tale of love, temptation, confusion, commitment, and coming to terms with the choices we've madeSee all Product description
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Top Customer Reviews
Loosely based on Edith Wharton's The Age of Innocence, Francesca Segal's debut novel follows childhood sweethearts Adam and Rachel. Their lives are threaded together in every way - from their intricate family relationships to the fact that Adam is a trusted employee of a business run by Rachel's father - so their engagement comes as little surprise to anyone in their immediate circle. But while Rachel is busy planning the perfect big day, Adam is having a crisis of confidence.
Full of self-doubt, Adam is torn between Rachel, as well as the inherent expectations that lie on him as a member of a tight-knit Jewish community, and her alluring, vibrant and vulnerable younger cousin Ellie. The antithesis to Rachel, Ellie is the family black sheep with a devil-may-care attitude to life. For Adam, already questioning his mapped out future as the perfect Jewish husband, her appearance is the catalyst that pushes him over the edge.
Some people have criticised this book for its in-depth descriptions of Jewish culture and community, but this was actually the aspect of the book that I most enjoyed. It's the most detailed discussion of Jewish society that I've ever read, and I found it really interesting.
However, I didn't feel that the central figures were in any way likeable. This was probably because we see everyone else from Adam's perspective, and for me, Adam is nothing but self-centred and weak.Read more ›
I loved both Adam and Rachel and felt that the author fairly provided a good outline of each of them - Rachel, the spoilt only daughter of parents who both love and protect her, even now that she is grown-up, and that of Adam, whose father died when he was young. Adam and Rachel at the beginning of the book have recently become engaged after being together for thirteen years, they met on an Israel tour, but then Rachel's cousin comes back into the picture and the story changes to reflect this, I do not want to give too much away.
I also loved all the other characters that Francesca Segal brought into the novel, I loved Ziva, who is a survivor of the Holocaust, and is the grandmother to both Rachel and Ellie, she is extremely well-drawn, each of the characters I could see in my mind and already had an idea of what they could be like in real life, I love it when a book manages to do that.
The Jewish community is a startlingly good idea as it allows for all the action to take place over a period of time but also have supporting characters who are able to interject, and sometimes, take over certain pieces of dialogue, particularly when it comes to the planning of the wedding, Adam would like something small and intimate, whereas Rachel and her mother would like a huge wedding, with lots of guests, a big wedding dress, and lots of expense.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It's readable - but I wouldn't recommend. Storyline plodded along & didn't feel very gripping.Published 6 months ago by Miss S. Clarke
I wanted to keep reading from the first few pages, the story didn't disappoint. Subtle, well told, I was captured.Published 7 months ago by Jo Kearins
This is dull and superficial with a completely ludicrous clichéd (non) love affair in the middle of it all. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Parsley
This is probably one of the worst books I read last year. Normally I try to finish books that I get halfway through, but reading it was almost painful and I realised it was an... Read morePublished 16 months ago by SugarGlass
Full of cliches and didn't care about the characters. Interesting background thoughPublished 23 months ago by Louise McCourt