book cover of The Innocents

The Innocents

(2012)
A novel by

 
 
Awards
Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction Best Book (nominee)
Betty Trask Award Best First Novel (nominee)
Costa Book Awards Best First Novel
At the age of twenty-eight, Adam is engaged to Rachel, his girlfriend of twelve years, and can foresee a brilliant future: partnership in his father-in-law's legal firm, holidays with their extended families on the Red Sea, evenings out with the friends they've known since childhood in the well-heeled London neighbourhood they've shared since birth. It's a perfect match: the fulfillment of the desires and expectations of everyone Adam knows and loves.

When Rachel's beautiful cousin Ellie suddenly appears in shul at the beginning of Yom Kippur, having returned to London to escape her scandal-touched past in New York, Adam's comfortable perspective and chosen life path begin, for the first time, to feel uncomfortable. Initially troubled by Ellie's presence and the gossip that her questionable history arouses, he soon finds himself dangerously drawn to the worldly, vulnerable young woman, his imagination ignited by her fierce independence and lack of regard for convention. As their impossible relationship plays itself out under the watchful eyes of their close-knit community, Adam is forced to examine the competing demands of his heart and re-evaluate every choice he has ever made.

The Innocents portrays modern-day Jewish life with both wit and empathy, guiding us effortlessly through a contemporary cultural milieu whose social rules, both spoken and unspoken, are just as claustrophobic as those of 19th-century New York. Heralding the arrival of a major new literary talent, this irresistible story is a novel of manners for the 21st century.


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Praise for this book

"The Innocents is written with wisdom and deliciously subtle wit, in the tradition of Jane Austen and Nancy Mitford. Francesca Segal has a remarkable ability to bring characters vividly to life who are at once warm, funny, complex, and utterly recognizable. This is a wonderfully readable novel: elegant, accomplished and romantic." - André Aciman

"In The Innocents, Francesca Segal very cleverly discovers that which is common between Edith Wharton's New York and her own North London, between the 1870's and today. In doing so she reveals what is universal in life and love - and that is what good literature always does." - Peter Ferry

"A moving, funny, richly drawn story of a young man's attempts to find out who he wants to be when there are so many others who know best. Full of real pleasures and unexpected wisdom, this book sweeps you along." - Esther Freud

"I was captivated by this alluring novel. 'The Innocents' is a deliciously subtle and contemporary take on the perennial conflict between duty and desire. Francesca Segal writes with dazzling psychological precision, conjuring up characters who are complex, engaging and utterly real, and exploring the dilemmas they face with a delicate wisdom." - Margaret Leroy

"In Francesca Segal's capable hands, The Age of Innocence is transformed into a very contemporary novel of religious traditions, financial misdeeds, and the way family happiness sustains and strangles. Writing with warmth, humor, and control, Segal brings to life an impressively large cast of characters, and makes The Innocents a generous, memorable first novel that I found hard to put down." - Stephen McCauley

"The Innocents is an exuberant, sensitive, witty novel, elegantly-written, partly a study of universal dramas of love, marriage and fear, partly a very modern, sassy London story, partly a Jewish novel. I found it irresistible." - Simon Sebag Montefiore

"In transposing Edith Wharton's tale of WASP New York to contemporary Jewish London, Francesca Segal serves up an Old World feast, mit schlag!" - Thomas Rayfiel


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Used availability for Francesca Segal's The Innocents

Hardback Editions

June 2012 : USA Hardback
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Title: The Innocents
Author(s): Francesca Segal
ISBN: 1-4013-4181-0 / 978-1-4013-4181-7 (USA edition)
Publisher: Voice
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   


May 2012 : UK Hardback
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Title: The Innocents
Author(s): Francesca Segal
ISBN: 0-7011-8699-2 / 978-0-7011-8699-9 (UK edition)
Publisher: Chatto & Windus
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Paperback Editions

June 2014 : Canada Paperback
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Title: The Innocents
Author(s): Francesca Segal
ISBN: 1-4434-0890-5 / 978-1-4434-0890-5 (Canada edition)
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA   


May 2013 : USA Paperback
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Title: The Innocents
Author(s): Francesca Segal
ISBN: 1-4013-4189-6 / 978-1-4013-4189-3 (USA edition)
Publisher: Hachette Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


January 2013 : UK Paperback
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Title: The Innocents
Author(s): Francesca Segal
ISBN: 0-09-956952-3 / 978-0-09-956952-7 (UK edition)
Publisher: Vintage
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


June 2012 : Canada Paperback
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Title: The Innocents: A Novel, The
Author(s): Francesca Segal
ISBN: 1-4434-0889-1 / 978-1-4434-0889-9 (Canada edition)
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Availability: Amazon CA   


Audio Editions

March 2017 : USA Audio edition
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Title: The Innocents
Author(s): Francesca Segal
Publisher: Whole Story Audiobooks
Availability: Amazon   


March 2017 : UK Audio edition
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Title: The Innocents
Author(s): Francesca Segal
Publisher: Whole Story Audiobooks
Availability: Amazon UK   


June 2013 : UK Audio CD
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Title: The Innocents
Author(s): Francesca Segal
ISBN: 1-4712-3610-2 / 978-1-4712-3610-5 (UK edition)
Publisher: Whole Story Audiobooks
Availability: Amazon UK   


June 2012 : Canada Audio edition
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Title: #N/A: #N/A
Author(s): Francesca Segal
Publisher: Hyperion
Availability: Amazon CA   


June 2012 : USA Audio edition
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Title: The Innocents
Author(s): Francesca Segal
Publisher: Hyperion
Availability: Amazon   


Kindle Editions

June 2012 : USA Kindle edition
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Title: The Innocents
Author(s): Francesca Segal
Publisher: Hachette Books
Availability: Amazon   


June 2012 : Canada Kindle edition
thumb

Title: The Innocents
Author(s): Francesca Segal
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Availability: Amazon CA   


May 2012 : Australia, UK Kindle edition
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Title: The Innocents
Author(s): Francesca Segal
Publisher: Vintage Digital
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon AU