Innocence: A Novel

by Penelope Fitzgerald, Julian Barnes

Beautiful Chiara is the last of the Ridolfi, a Florentine family of long lineage and eccentric habits. She is smitten with Salvatore, a brilliant but penniless doctor, a rational man who wants nothing to do with romance. This is the story of how these two--with the best intentions, the kindest of instincts, and the most meddlesome of friends--make each other wonderfully miserable inside.

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN-13/ EAN: 9780544359468
  • ISBN-10: 0544359461
  • Pages: 368
  • Publication Date: 10/14/2014
  • Carton Quantity: 24

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  • About the Book
    “A delectable comedy of manners.” —Boston Globe

    The Ridolfi are a Florentine family of long lineage and little money. It is 1955, Italy is still struggling back after the war, and the family, like its decrepit villa and farm, has seen better days. Among the Ridolfi, only eighteen-year-old Chiara shows anything like vitality. But it’s a vitality matched by innocence—a dangerous combination, to herself and to all who love her.

    Chiara sets her heart on the bull-headed Salvatore, a brilliant young doctor from the south who resolved long ago to be emotionally dependent on no one. Stymied, she calls on her resourceful English girlfriend, Barney, to help her make the impossible match. And so ensues a comedy of errors, in which guileless lovers, with the best of intentions, considerable charm, and the kindest of instincts, succeed in making one another thoroughly and astonishingly miserable.

    “An exquisite mosaic, where every tiny piece is part of a world.” —A. S. Byatt, Threepenny Review


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  • Reviews
    "Clever and dangerously beguiling." The Los Angeles Times

    "As intoxicating as a shot of aged brandy . . . a true sensualist's feeling for Italy." The Washington Post

    "The fullest and richest of her novels." Time Magazine