I received this book free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Innocents by Francesca Segal
Published by Hyperion on June 5th 2012
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Source: the Publisher
What if everything you'd ever wanted was no longer enough?
Adam and Rachel are getting married at last. Childhood sweethearts whose lives and families have been intertwined for years; theirs is set to be the wedding of the year.
But then Rachel's cousin Ellie makes an unexpected return to the family fold. Beautiful, reckless and troubled, Ellie represents everything that Adam has tried all his life 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.
‘The Innocents’ is a story which delves into a man’s pre-wedding fears and how he wavers between doing what he knows is right and what his heart is telling him. The story which is fashioned after Edith Wharton’s ‘The Age of Innocence’ is a classic that I have yet to read so I can’t be too sure how closely the two stories are. I don’t believe that this would have been a story I would have snagged off the shelf to take home with me; however, I enjoyed it nonetheless. The detail given regarding the tight-knit Jewish community was interesting and informative at first but after some time became hard to swallow. More story and less historical information would have benefited this story in the long run.
The writing itself was superb (especially considering this is Francesca Segal’s debut novel) but the story itself fell a little flat for me. The main issue I had was an inability to connect with the characters and understand their motives, especially the main character Adam. I could understand his commitment doubts or wondering if he’s made the right decision. I could even understand him falling out of love with Rachel because it was apparent that their relationship had become stale/complacent over the years. The one thing I had a hard time understanding was his instant infatuation with Ellie. In my opinion I would have preferred for the story to leave her as the catalyst that really set everything in motion rather than the new love interest. Adam had had his doubts regarding taking the next big step to marriage before Ellie came into the picture but she was the one that really opened his eyes to a different path, a different life. I think making her the love interest made the whole story too predictable.
Regardless, I did still enjoy it and I think fans of contemporary literature will enjoy this. I plan on keeping an eye out for more from Francesca Segal, she definitely has a talent for words.