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THE INNOCENTS by Francesca Segal opens with the newly engaged Adam and Rachel, who have been together since they were 16 (they are now 28) celebrating the High Holidays at Temple Fortune in West London with the rest of their tightly knit community. The spotlight is on this well-matched pair who seem to have it all. By page two, a new player has entered the scene: Rachel’s ravishing cousin Ellie, who lives in New York and has “a story” behind her. The contrast between Rachel and Ellie could not be more drastic. It’s the classic “safe good girl” and “the temptress” story, which is handled so deftly in Francesca’s hands. Adam is clearly questioning his choices and seeing a world beyond the safe haven he has come to know. The plot, the tension, the twists and the turns make THE INNOCENTS a page-turner, and the ending is perfect.
A Reader Confession: I cannot remember reading THE AGE OF INNOCENCE by Edith Wharton, so the comparisons to this as a recasting of Wharton’s book were lost on me. I know, pretty sad. But my love of THE INNOCENTS has me planning to stop “reading ahead” for a bit to “go back” and read this classic. Those who have better “classic” memories will be more adept at making comparisons as they read, while others like me may go back to the classic.
Also, for me, THE INNOCENTS was a wonderful education into Jewish traditions and cultures. And for those who, like me, are Gentiles, the glossary.
- Publication Date: May 14, 2013
- Genres: Fiction
- Paperback: 304 pages
- Publisher: Hyperion
- ISBN-10: 1401341896
- ISBN-13: 9781401341893