My lousy review of this book is not because I dislike re-writes of classics. It’s because it failed to capture me on any level.
The Innocents by Francesca Segal is a rework of Edith Wharton’s The Age of Innocence. I read The Age of Innocence many years ago, so my criticisms of this new take on Wharton’s classic are not as a result of comparing the two. In The Innocents, we meet newly engaged and self-satisfied Adam Newman, the prize catch of a small, tight-knit Jewish suburb of London. His fiancée is Rachel Gilbert – innocent, conventional and entirely secure in her community –
“She’d had such certainty, a placid conviction in the essential goodness of the world and what it promised her. To Adam, raised by a mother who prepared with steely determination for the worst to happen immediately if not sooner, Rachel’s unwavering, no-nonsense optimism had been an elixir. He hadn’t known that he was allowed to expect a calm, happy life until Rachel had shown him that she anticipated nothing else.”
As the wedding planning gathers momentum and Rachel’s stunningly beautiful cousin, Ellie, arrives from New York, Adam gets a case of pre-wedding jitters and starts to doubt his role as the ‘good son’.
Having read the blurb, you only need one guess to know where the Adam/ Rachel/ Ellie storyline is headed. Continue reading