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Innocence is set in the 1950s, when Italy was picking up the pieces after the war. Chiara Ridolfi is the guileless daughter of a decrepit Italian family. Barney is her practical English girlfriend, who can sum up a man, she says, in one firm hand-grip. Salvatore is a penniless doctor from the south, who thinks he is proof against politics, social conscience and tenderness. Chiara’s cousin, Cesare, says very little, which gives him time to think…

‘This is by far the fullest and richest of Penelope Fitzgerald’s novels, and also the most ambitious. Her writing, as ever, has a natural authority, is very funny, warm and gently ironic, and full of tenderness towards human beings and their bravery in living.’ TLS

Agent: Peter Straus
Other Penelope Fitzgerald, Estate of Titles