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Innocence

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3.41  ·  Rating Details ·  1,153 Ratings  ·  96 Reviews
IT’S 1987 and Evie is leaving home for the first time, headed for London to study acting. Along with her fellow students and roommates—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 is determined to make her mark, both on stage and off.

But then life and love, in the s
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Hardcover, 400 pages
Published April 11th 2005 by HarperCollins Publishers Ltd (first published 2005)
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(showing 1-30)
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Laura
Feb 24, 2008 Laura rated it it was amazing  ·  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
Stacy
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
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Anika
Dec 05, 2008 Anika rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Emilyandherlittlepinknotes
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
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Katie
Jan 09, 2011 Katie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Samiha Azim
Jan 06, 2016 Samiha Azim rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
M
Mar 25, 2015 M rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book felt a bit confused. Was it a romance? Was it a ghost story? Was it a 'coming of age'? A book can cross many genres, but it needs to be clear about its intent, and to be strong. This one, for me, wasn't. None of the threads and themes rang true, and strayed into cliché territory too often for me.
Riikka
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
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Alessandra
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
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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
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Michelle
(3.5 stars) This novel covers two time periods in the life of Evie: in 1987 when she is heading from the U.S. to live in England and go to a drama academy, and her life 14 years later. Evie is a true innocent at first, finding friendship with her two new roommates, particularly Robbie, who is larger than life and a bit volatile. Robbie encourages her artistic ambitions and urges her to up her game for her audition to Juilliard. But Evie feels another pull when she meets a musician, Jack, trying ...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,
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Ninette
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
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Amy
Mar 08, 2012 Amy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chick-lit-fluff, 2012
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
Kris - My Novelesque Life
3 STARS

"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 flung into a thrilling new world�a world illuminated by the glamorous, outrageous Robbie. Together, anything's possible.


B
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Sydney
Jan 31, 2011 Sydney rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chick-lit
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
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Krystal
Feb 24, 2008 Krystal rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chicklit
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
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
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Brandy F.
Regrettably, I have put this book down one too many times. Now that I have finished it, I must say that I am quite pleased. Not only was this book well written, it taught me something. And I've always deemed these sorts of novels the best in my opinion.

I loved the dialogue, the use of scenery to set the mood; even the characters were likeable and I loved how the author had mercy on each of them despite their background. Despite how much of a disgrace a character was to the people in their every
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Kelsey
Jul 28, 2012 Kelsey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love this book because it makes me dream of a perfectly unperfect adult life.
(view spoiler)
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Diane
Sep 05, 2007 Diane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Pythia
Jan 12, 2012 Pythia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: uhm, chick-lit
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,
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Kaitlin
Aug 08, 2012 Kaitlin rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hated
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
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Irene
Jul 21, 2008 Irene rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2008
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.
Kim-Lost-In-A-Book
Oct 22, 2013 Kim-Lost-In-A-Book rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013-reads
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.
Loretta
Aug 18, 2014 Loretta rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I have a hard time not finishing a book, even when it's something I don't really like and this was one of those. I kept hoping it was going to get better but it didn't. It jumped between current time and the past and was often confusing which was which. The language and life styles that were depicted were not my style. And then the book left me confused at the end so I'm giving it only 1 star.
Lannylee
Jun 16, 2008 Lannylee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Old fashioned romantics
The 2nd novel is always difficult, and can sometime succumb to being the difficult middle child, unwilling to live up to the hype.

This book isn't as good as Elegance, but is a perfect 'holiday' book, read it on the beach with a cocktail or 3 and it will make you laugh and enjoy your holiday all the better for it.
Anna
Jan 17, 2008 Anna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting and fun story about a woman who learns how to actually LIVE life, instead of just surviving. Tessaro is great at developing characters that you feel like you know, and really want to understand.

THIS is what chick lit should be - well written, with solid character development and a good story.
Kate
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.
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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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“What could be more beautiful than the fact that love exists in a random universe?” 1 likes
“There's an art to life. Some people have talent for it. A boundless hope illuminates them. Where others are vague and tentative, they have only sharp, clear edges. Energy soars; lights burn brighter when they enter a room.” 0 likes
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