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Juicy Reads |The Innocents

A modern interpretation of Edith Wharton's Pulitzer Prize winning novel makes our list of Juicy Summer Reads.


A few months ago we watched Martin Scorsese’s adaptation of Edith Wharton’s 1920 novel, The Age of Innocence, and were bemused by how many of the work’s themes (scandal among the upper class in 1870s NYC) still ring true today.  As much as we enjoyed indulging in the reveries of old, we thought about how fun it would be to see a modern take.

First time novelist Francesca Segal turned this dream into a reality with The Innocents, set present day in the Hampstead Garden Suburb of North West London. Wharton’s ill-reputed Countess Ellen Olenska, who in Scorsese’s rendition is played by Michelle Pfeiffer, was reinvented by Segal as Ellie Schneider: a 22-year-old model who gets sent home from Columbia University on account of explicit behavior. She boldly re-enters her tight-knit community and finds herself in an illicit love triangle with her prim and proper cousin’s fiancé.

We suggest you give the book a read, as we’re curious to know who you think is worthy of the heartthrob’s love: the naïve fiancé or her anti-hero cousin. Sometimes in the throes of passion the bad girl deserves to win.

Photo courtesy of Hyperion/Voice.