The Innocents

By Francesca Segal
(Hyperion Books, Hardcover, 9781401341817, 282pp.)

Publication Date: June 2012

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Selected by Indie Booksellers for the June 2012 Indie Next List
“Although the plot of The Innocents follows the 'man in love with his wife's cousin' formula, it is anything but stale and predictable. Caught in the loving web of his huge Jewish family, Adam Newman struggles to do the right thing while being true to himself and honest with others. Through wonderful, sometimes tragic and often quirky characters, Segal offers finely honed truths about humanity. I highly recommend this book -- a wonderful summer read with some guts to it!”
-- Susan Tyler, The Book Bin, Onley, VA


Description

*** Winner of the 2012 Costa First Novel Award *** "It is impossible to resist this novel's wit, grace, and charm."
--Lauren Groff, author of The Monsters of Templeton and Arcadia

A smart and slyly funny tale of love, temptation, confusion, and commitment; a triumphant and beautifully executed recasting of Edith Wharton's The Age of Innocence.

Newly engaged and unthinkingly self-satisfied, twenty-eight-year-old Adam Newman is the prize catch of Temple Fortune, a small, tight-knit Jewish suburb of London. He has been dating Rachel Gilbert since they were both sixteen and now, to the relief and happiness of the entire Gilbert family, they are finally to marry. To Adam, Rachel embodies the highest values of Temple Fortune; she is innocent, conventional, and entirely secure in her community--a place in which everyone still knows the whereabouts of their nursery school classmates. Marrying Rachel will cement Adam's role in a warm, inclusive family he loves.

But as the vast machinery of the wedding gathers momentum, Adam feels the first faint touches of claustrophobia, and when Rachel's younger cousin Ellie Schneider moves home from New York, she unsettles Adam more than he'd care to admit. Ellie--beautiful, vulnerable, and fiercely independent--offers a liberation that he hadn't known existed: a freedom from the loving interference and frustrating parochialism of North West London. Adam finds himself questioning everything, suddenly torn between security and exhilaration, tradition and independence. What might he be missing by staying close to home?




About the Author
FRANCESCA SEGAL was born in London in 1980 and studied at Oxford before becoming a journalist and writer. Her work has appeared in Granta, Newsweek, The Guardian (U.K.), Financial Times and Vogue (U.K. and U.S.), amongst many other publications. She has been a features writer at Tatler, and for three years she wrote the Debut Fiction column in The Observer (U.K.).

WEB: FRANCESCASEGAL.COM

TWITTER: @FRANCESCASEGAL

FACEBOOK: FRANCESCA-SEGAL

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