The Innocents

The Innocents

by Francesca Segal
3.6 58

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The Innocents 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 58 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Full disclosure, I have never been the biggest fan of Edith Wharton, but I was excited to hear about this modern rendetition of "The Age of Innocence." I had heard good things, and was excited to give this a try. However, I found the book to be overhyped and underwhelming. I really had a hard time accepting our "hero," as I found him to be whiny, obnoxious, and indecisive. I never enjoyed Goethe's "The Sorrows of Young Werther," as I always wanted Werther to move on and accept his fate and find a nice girl to settle down with. However, I would gladly read "Werther" everyday, because I appreciate his devotion and decisiveness. Compared to Adam in "The Innocents," Werther is a role model. I wish Adam would have followed Werther's lead and ended things for himself, I would have been put out of my misery much sooner. I have no problems with the anti-hero or the Byronic hero (in fact Heathcliff in "Wuthering Heights" is one of my favorite literary characters of all time), but there are few people to root for in this story - even accepting the skewed kleidescope of an anti-romance. Adam, as I mentioned, is a putz...I would have paid for him to meet his Maker. Rachel, poor dippy thing, I never had an affinity for. She probably annoyed me more than Adam, especially because her entire self worth seemed contingent on having a man. Yes, I know that fits with Wharton's time, but as this is a modern re-telling I would have preferred some more feminism. The only characters I seemed to like were the minor characters of Ellie, Ziva, and Lawrence. But no one felt like a fleshed out character. In Fydor Doestoyevsky's masterpiece "The Brothers Karamazov" no character felt extraneous. Father Zosima had life and depth. Grushenka was more than a stereotpical prostitute; she had her own thoughts and her love for Mitya was truer than the so-called chaste Lisa's, and Smerdyokov transcended the caricature of villany to be a beautiful, complex, philosophical character at the heart of the novel. In "The Innocents" everyone is cardboard, knocked over with the slightest breeze, and unable to bear up to analytical interpretation. In the end, not only do the characters resemble stereotypes,there is nothing at their hearts: They are hollow and wooden, souless. I wanted to enjoy this novel, but might have been better taking a pass.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm but sure why this book is part of the book club but I didn't find it very well written. The author spends a lot of space on detailing things that don't seem very important.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. I was drawn in by the realistic depiction of the characters and their life style. The writer's development & depth of the thoughts of the main character was very well written. I became sympathetic to the issues he was wrestling with. I especially loved the actions of Ellie-----spot on. Great read! The book even helped me to clarify things in my own life too.
L.A.Carlson-writer More than 1 year ago
Discriminating readers only. Along with the gorgeous cover shot this book is beautifully written; Segal inserts uncommon words which in my opinion only make the reader wiser. I.E. uxorious-page 161. Her writing makes astute readers have only one reaction; grateful astonishment. While her writing lineage is impressive; her father is the late Erich Segal (Love Story) she appears to be a talented writer well ahead of her time. If you're looking for wooden, stale characters you won't find them here. This is a story that simmers slowly and reveals the complexity of the human spirit. The main character is male and Jewish. This is easily one of the best books I've read this year. Exquisite!!! Loved it.
BrittM More than 1 year ago
I agree with some of the others. This book did not live up to the hype at all for me. I felt it to be a story told too many times before. The details were a bit boring at times and I felt like screaming at the male character for being such a flipping idiot. This was forgettable and I'll likely not read another book of hers.
Oregonian1 More than 1 year ago
This book was sensational. I came to care deeply about the main character, Adam, and felt invested in the choices he made. The portrait of the Jewish people's love for family and community was eye-opening and envy-inspiring.
shopgirl_07 More than 1 year ago
The book was just ok for me. I enjoyed parts of it, particularly the descriptions of the tight knit Jewish community, but overall, I found the story to be pretty trite.
UllaBG More than 1 year ago
Loved this book - couldn't put it down. I finished it in two days. She gets it right about the community and all the relationships feel so real. Great ending!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. The characters dilemmas really stayed with me. I keep thinking about it and wondering whether Adam did the right thing. Perfect summer reading. I am going to give it to my book club for fall.
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A graet read and very wrll written
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healthyway More than 1 year ago
Very interesting.
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