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3.4 of 5 stars 3.40  ·  rating details  ·  888 ratings  ·  74 reviews
Some dreams never die.
It's 1986 and eighteen-year-old Evie dreams of being an actress. Leaving her hometown of Eden, Ohio, for the first time, she's heading to London to study drama. Together with fellow students Imogene (a born-again Laura Ashley poster child and frustrated virgin) and Robbie (a native New Yorker, budding bohemian, and very much not a virgin), Evie's flun...more
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published April 11th 2005 by HarperCollins Publishers Ltd (first published 2005)
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Kathleen Tessaro writes what I refer to as chic-lit, so far she published three novels, I read the first two Elegance and Innocence, I liked them both. Innocence has one of my favourite cover in the whole chic-lit department.

The guardian refers to Innocence as ‘A wonderful tale of lust, love, life and redemption.‘

I enjoy romantic novels that keep me on the edge, Tessaro style is ultra smart and very edgy.

Narration is organized on a double level: it’s 1987 when Evie Garlick leaves her home in Ame...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 21, 2008 Laura rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Krystal
Shelves: chicklit, march2008
Wow. I just finished this, and just have to say wow. The description on the back of this book does not do it justice. And I don't get the cover, or the little line at the bottom. Ignore all that. This book is about growing up and maturing, but not in some trite way. It's the real, ugly, beautiful, wonderful, uncomfortable, happy, sad, story of growing up. The one we all go through. It ends with Evie making her happiness, but she had to learn how. It's about learning that happiness and real life...more
I really enjoy Tessaro's clean story-telling and flow of words. I also have to say that although you "shouldn't judge a book by its cover", her covers are always simple yet intriguing.

This novel had an intricate time table, jumping between past and present from chapter to chapter. Even when you discovered a new secret from Evie's life, Tessaro was able to keep you hanging on until something new was discovered.

A delightful book about how the people in our lives really affect how we live as well...more
Christine Blachford
Evie is aspiring to be an actress and moves to London from Ohio, to study, to live and ultimately, to act. Life gets in the way of her dreams and fifteen years later she’s a single mother, teaching instead of acting and wondering where her life went wrong.

Evie seems to be such a non-interesting character, it’s amazing that the whole book is based around her. She’s a shy little country girl in a foreign city, but then being an actress just doesn’t seem to suit her personality at all. The friend,...more
I bought this book years ago on an airport because I had read and liked Kathleen Tessaros first book Elegance. I've always had the plan of reading this but for one reason or an other I didn't get round to picking it from my shelve until last week. Too bad, this was definitely a book that should have sat there way shorter time before reading.

Innocence is a book about a woman called Evie Garlick (and yes, I had to keep calling her Garlic just because, you know, it was funny) in two different times...more
Stephanie Piontkowski
This book was fantastic! I wasn't sure about it before I started reading. The illustration on the front and the summary on the back does not remotely do it justice. At first it's a little tricky to follow until you realize that each chapter alternates between past and present. I think this was an excellent way to tell the story, it really helped me connect with and understand Evie.

This was a light but very interesting read, and sure I'd say it's a good book to take to the pool or beach. It's de...more
The story started quite promising - woman in her early thirties teaching night reading classes. Then we get a glimpse on her youth dreams of becoming an actress, leaving home in America, coming to London, meeting Robbie. Then appears Evie (the protagonist) has a son, Alex. Then it is youth love story between Evie and Jake, then Robbie's ghost appears, then, then, then...

It seemed pages of totally different and sometimes unconnected events put on the same page without real intention they are lead...more
The first thing you should know about Robbie is that she's dead. She died in a car accident in New York - a hit and run - crossing the street one February afternoon to buy more Diet Coke. She really loved Diet Coke. Couldn't function without it. And she was never the type of girl to cross at a street corner.

I picked up Innocence by Kathleen Tessaro in the Italian translation at the library. I was immediately captured by its blue cover, because blue covers appeal to me in some strange way. (The I
This review originally appeared on my blog at

I was excited to read this book, but sadly it fell a little flat for me.

A friend lent it to me because we share a mutual love of love stories, and after I made her read If I Stay (and she adored it), she insisted I'd love this one. The story definitely intrigued me - switching between timelines, it tells the tale of Evie as she is at 18 and at 33. At 18, she dreams of being an actress, is best friends with the larg...more
Not bad. Tragically it included a major pet peeve of mine... chronology problems. Seriously, in a book that jumps from the past to the present, you'd think that people would be looking closely to make sure that things jive. Without spoiling, an example.. something big happens to Evie in April 1997 (According to the story). The very next portion of the book takes place in December 1997, so I think "oh, 8 months later, let's see how things have changed"... Except its not 8 months later, its 5 mont...more
This basically is the story of a train wreck of a woman's life and ambitions and how that came to be. So the premise is interesting enough, as are the characters and the scenery around this artsy little London community. (Though why an aspiring American actress would go to London instead of LA or NY is beyond me.)

So what went wrong? The story drags a lot. This is mostly due to the jumps between past and present. Almost all the action is in the sequences from the past. While in the present not mu...more
What a surprise this novel was! I honestly didn't know what to expect, but this was certainly not fluffy chick lit. It's the story of one woman coming to terms with the fact that while the life she is leading my not be what she had planned, it may just be a wonderful life after all.

Evie leaves small town Ohio with dreams of becoming an actress. She moves to London for acting classes, leaving a boyfriend back home. She ends up in a cramped apartment with two other aspiring actresses who become de...more
Tamara Morgan
I really liked this author's first book, Elegance, because of the great setup (A book on elegance that all women must strive to emulate? I'd be all over that!). This one had a fairly decent setup, but that wasn't my main problem. I just didn't get the love story...either of them.

Evie, the main character, was supposed to have had this passionate, torrid love affair with a burgeoning rock star, but I never thought there was anything there other than one or two warm fuzzy feelings. And the second...more
Laura's one request when she loaned me this book was to not give it a bad review, that if I didn't like it, don't tell her =) I thought I was in trouble when I first started reading this book, I just couldn't get into it, and out of fear for my life, cause Laura is fierce and reads these, I set it aside. I would come back to it read a page here and there, and finally something clicked in me or the book, and I have to say it was one of the pleasant surprises you sometimes find if you just truck t...more
Do you ever read a book and wish that the author had written down what she wanted the book to be about before she started, and then stuck to it? That's what I wish with this book. It starts out promisingly - a woman in her thirties is haunted by her exciting college friend, who seems to be there to tell her of something she has missed in her life, alternating with chapters about them in college. And yet, this becomes almost an afterthought. Is the book about Robbie, the friend, and their friends...more
I enjoyed the book but found myself a bit frustrated with he main character, Evie. She seemed to drift through the years without actually living life.
Kelsey Bundra
I love this book because it makes me dream of a perfectly unperfect adult life.
(view spoiler)...more
This book is fun! Evie Garlik comes to London at 18 to study drama.The book alternates between her arrival and fifteen years later when she is teaching evening classes. Tessaro's characters are just likeable. Robbie is the charming, self-destructive friend Evie meets on her arrival in London--one of those people whose vitality takes up all the emotional space in a room.

Talent and failure are not the sturdy concepts we assume. and can be re-imagined. Evie's audition for the deodorant commerical...more
Della Tessaro ho adorato Elegance, al punto da ridurlo più volte ai minimi termini per tutte le volte che l'ho riletto...
Questo non ha niente a che vedere con l'ironia di "Zucchetta", anzi, è una storia triste e complessa. Anche qui, l'autrice alterna il racconto dal tempo dei ricordi ad un tempo presente dove questi stessi ricordi in qualche modo sono ancora vivi.
La ricerca della felicità e di un obiettivo da raggiungere è resa ancor più ardua dagli scherzi della vita: Evie è, nonostante tutto,...more
Susan Baranoff
Small town Ohio girl goes to London to study acting. Sound formulaic, no? No.

When Evie opens the door to her flat-share and then to the Actors Drama Workshop Academy she will step into worlds she could hardly have imagined 6 weeks prior.

For anyone who has ever thought maybe they would run away to London, or to acting school, or to join a band, or follow one, this book rings with authenticity and quirkiness. I'd call it "summer reading" for it is exactly the right kind of book for beside the pool...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Andrea Chan
Disjointed fluff. passed the time.
had to return to library before i finished; not as great as "elegance".
Kim N - Lost-In-A-Book
Loved this one even more than "Elegance." Beautifully written story of seemingly lost innocence, of making sense of the past to use it for the present. Of friendship, love, family, of life. The story is at times shocking, at others touching, and always relatable, even when the experiences aren't ones you have specifically experienced yourself. It's such a human story that grabs you and pulls you in to a journey that is both universal and yet so individually personal.
This was a good and light read after reading a pretty intense piece of fiction. Or so I thought. It was an easy read only because it was told from the perspective of our head-case heroine, a single mother of an adorable tot.

Not Tolstoy, but not as bad as some other fluff marketed for women....Tessaro's heroines are fallen angels, broken down but beautiful, and waiting to wake up. I liked this one. More than I thought I would.
Helle-mari Märtson
Ei lõpetanudki, sest ei andnud üldse sama mõõtu välja, mis tema varasemad raamatud, ja ei taha selle peale aega raisata
Parts of this book kind of drug on. Was sure of the significance of the ghost Robbie. I liked the perfume collector better.
I enjoyed this a lot more the second time round than tte first time round. I like the characters, and I thought the polst was mostly good. The only thing I didn't like (and I remember not being keen first time either) was the ending. It was all left a bit up in the air for me, mainly in regards to what happened between Jake and Aex.
I wish I could give 3.5. It was a good read. I liked the characters mostly but some of the story line wasn't quite right.
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The ending 1 12 Aug 09, 2010 03:55AM  
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Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Kathleen attended the University of Pittsburgh before entering the drama program of Carnegie Mellon University. In the middle of her sophomore year, she went to study in London for three months and stayed for the next twenty-three years. She began writing at the suggestion of a friend and was an early member of the Wimpole Street Writer’s Workshop. Her debut novel...more
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The Perfume Collector Elegance The Debutante The Flirt Kathleen Tessaro 3-Book Collection: The Flirt, The Debutante, The Perfume Collector

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