Jewish love story 'The Innocents' up for Costa Book Award

The Innocents

The Innocents

A novel about life and love in the Jewish community of North West London has been shortlisted for a prestigious book award.

Francesca Segal's The Innocents is in the running to scoop up the Costa Book Award, a £25,000 prize. On Wednesday it was named best first novel, giving it a place on the shortlist for the overall Costa prize.

The story, loosely based on Edith Wharton's The Age of Innocence, centres on the relationship between Rachel and Adam, a couple who first meet on Israel tour.

Ms Segal, the daughter of Love Story writer Erich Segal, also contributes to the JC.

The author tweeted after the announcement that it was a brilliant start to the year. "Totally gobsmacked," she said.

The winner of the 2012 prize will be announced on January 29. All the authors shortlisted for the overall prize this year are women, with others including Hilary Mantel for Bring Up the Bodies, and graphic novel Dotter of Her Father's Eyes, by Mary Talbot.

Last updated: 9:53am, January 3 2013