‘It was more than possession, more than union, more than love. It was absolute confidence. It was certainty, and a promise of certainty always’
Adam and Rachel, childhood sweethearts, are getting married at last. Rachel is everything Adam has ever imagined in a wife and her parents adore him. A life of easy contentment awaits, at the heart of the community.
But then Rachel’s reckless American cousin returns to the family fold. Ellie represents everything that Adam has striven to avoid – and everything that is missing from his world. As the long-awaited wedding approaches, Adam is torn between duty and temptation, security and freedom, and must make a choice that will break either one heart, or many.
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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
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
A beautiful, bittersweet novel -
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 - Andre Aciman
The central story transcends time, reflecting the omnipresence of love and its conflicting web of duty, confusion, temptation and lust - Lady
The Innocents provides a thrilling read with an insight into Jewish culture - Press Association Review
If you haven’t read The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton, on which Segal’s debut novel is based, it’s possibly all to the good.For if you have, you might spend so much time comparing the two, you miss out on what a terrific book The Innocents is in its own right… Her prose is ageless, sexless and never hits a bum note… I’m half tempted to read the original, but I fear it wouldn’t measure up - Evening Standard
A humourous and touching re-working of Edith Wharton’s The Age of Innocence … It takes chutzpah to appropriate such a well-loved classic, but Segal parallels the two convention-bound worlds with enviable assurance - Independent
Edith Wharton’s The Age of Innocence transferred to present-day Jewish North London. Laugh-out-loud comedy as a compliant son goes rogue before his wedding day - Lady
The characters are well-realised, touch and fallible... Segal is especially good on guilt, as Adam’s betrayal and yearning for adventure lead him away from the wine bars of NW11 - Spectator
Convincing characters, elegant style and acute observation - The Tablet
Funny, mocking, affectionate and wise, it has the finest qualities of the novel of manners - Daily Telegraph
The daughter of a novelist and an editor, Francesca Segal was born in London in 1980. Brought up in the UK and America, she studied at Oxford and Harvard universities before becoming a journalist and critic. Her work has appeared in Granta, the Guardian, the Observer, the Daily Telegraph, FT Magazine and the JC, amongst others. For three years she wrote the Debut Fiction Column in the Observer and she has been a Features Writer at Tatler.