Read advance reader review of The Innocents by Francesca Segal

Summary | Reviews | More Information | More Books

The Innocents

A Novel

by Francesca Segal

The Innocents by Francesca Segal X
The Innocents by Francesca Segal
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' rating:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Published in USA  Jun 2012
    288 pages
    Genre: Novels

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this book

Reviews


Page 1 of 3
There are currently 19 member reviews
for The Innocents
Order Reviews by:
  • Barbara W. (Watertown, NY)


    Delicious!
    A totally tasty read! The underlying connection to Edith Wharton's book enhanced the storyline as my mind kept making comparisons to characters and plot. The contemporary setting created a completely updated twist on Wharton's classic themes.
  • Jane D. (Boulder, CO)


    Innocents and innocence
    I was mesmerized by this book. I always like getting to know a different world, and in this case it was the Jewish community in London. It does exactly what I love about good literature—shows the universal human condition and emotions in a setting and culture different from my own. It also touches on current financial issues. A very enjoyable read. I didn't want it to end.
  • Emily G. (Clear Lake, MN)


    An excellent revisioning of a timeless classic
    I’ve been eager to read this book since I first heard about it and so was thrilled to receive a pre-publication copy from BookBrowse. Edith Wharton is one of my favorite writers. So, with a little fear about a rewriting and a lot of excitement, I dove into The Innocents.

    Could anyone write as wonderfully as Edith? Alas, no, but Segal does an admirable job and, at points, echoes Wharton so strongly it made me smile: “She signed, and the timbre of her sigh could have resonated with anything from exhaustion to despair.” Segal resets Age of Innocence in a modern, Jewish community in London and meshes her changes nearly seamlessly with Age of Innocence’s plot. Even the character names, Adam instead of Newland for example, hit the right note between old and new. I never forgot I was reading a rewriting of Wharton, and was long annoyed at the recasting of Countess Olenska as the younger Ellie, but I was continually surprised at how astutely Segal changed details to make the social commentary of Wharton’s work shed just as much light on modern life. From the older-man sex and money scandal, to the loss of pension funds, each detail worked to create a modern and compelling story.

    Generally, I am skeptical of and disappointed in modern rewritings of classics, but The Innocents didn’t disappoint. Segal showed both her power as a writer and the timelessness of Wharton’s observations and assessments. I think Wharton would be pleased; I was.
  • Darra W. (Walnut Creek, CA)


    Worthy Homage to a Classic
    I was attracted to this book because of early comparisons to "The Age of Innocence," one of my all-time favorite novels. I figured I'd either love it or hate it. The "jury" is in: Segal has crafted a deft homage to Wharton's Pulitzer classic, transporting the focus from the upper-echelons of late-19th-century NY citizenry to contemporary North West London, the established center of the city's thriving Jewish society. The plot, the characters, the themes are very much the same, but unfold with a freshness and flair that has much to offer today's reader. How much have things really changed in 140 years? A great choice for book clubs--lots to discuss; would make a great tandem read with Wharton's "Age."
  • Shirley L. (Norco, LA)


    An Enjoyable Read
    First and foremost reading a novel should be enjoyable and The Innocents certainly was. The characters were complex and not stereotyped. The description of this modern Jewish community was haunting beautiful. Themes of risk versus safety, the individual versus the family, passion versus comfort were all thoughtfully developed. Lots of shades of gray were provided and no easy answers given. An intelligent, warm, quiet read that I found thoroughly satisfying.
  • Rosemary C. (Austin, TX)


    The Innocents
    A well-done story about the contrast of the somewhat banal everyday, secure, familiar and predictable life with the exotic and unfamiliar that can create an almost irresistible draw. I thought this book a slow read at first, but I think that is what the author intended to exemplify the everyday life of Adam and the Jewish community in London. The pace picked up with the introduction of the forbidden cousin and Adam's strong attraction to her. The characters are well-developed and likable, and this reader could feel empathy for all of them. I could sense the almost claustrophobic atmosphere of the tight-knit community, but also appreciate its warmth, generosity and support. It's understandable that Adam would be drawn to an "outsider" so different from what he has known and it's interesting to read what choices he and those he is closest to make in a crisis. All in all, a satisfying book.
  • Sarah B. (Streamwood, IL)


    The Innocents
    An excellent retelling of an old favorite. I enjoyed the book very much, but found that I didn't like the three main characters very much. I suppose that shows how well written the book is. The framing of the story in the Jewish community added extra interest to me, as it was an interesting way to learn about customs and traditions that were new to me.
  • Page
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

More Information

Readalikes

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket
    The Last Ballad
    by Wiley Cash
    A hundred years ago or so, farming land west of Charlotte, North Carolina was given over to giant ...
  • Book Jacket
    The Graybar Hotel
    by Curtis Dawkins
    We – those of us on the outside – are lucky. So very lucky. We get to experience life &#...
  • Book Jacket: We Own the Sky
    We Own the Sky
    by Luke Allnutt
    Rob and Anna Coates have an idyllic life together; they have successful careers, love each other ...
  • Book Jacket: Some Trick
    Some Trick
    by Helen DeWitt
    In this erudite collection of 13 stories, Helen DeWitt explores the theme of stymied creativity, ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Women in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck

A nuanced portrait of war, and of three women haunted by the past and the secrets they hold.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    A Place for Us
    by Fatima Farheen Mirza

    A deeply moving story of love, identity and belonging--the first novel from Sarah Jessica Parker's new imprint.
    Reader Reviews

Book Club Giveaway!
Win If You See Me, Don't Say Hi

If You See Me, Don't Say Hi
by Neel Patel

Patel's stories offer a bold and timely new literary voice.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

M T G Before I S

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.