Author(s): Maeve BinchyDownload
Big, generous-hearted Benny and the elfin Eve Malone have been best friends growing up in sleepy Knockglen. Their one thought is to get to Dublin, to university and to freedom…On their first day at University College, Dublin, the inseparable pair are thrown together with fellow students Nan Mahon, beautiful but selfish, and handsome Jack Foley. But trouble is brewing for Benny and Eve’s new circle of friends, and before long, they find passion, tragedy – and the independence they yearned for.
Some Reviews: 1736 in Goodreads.com
I confess to loving what we at the bookstore used to consider “old lady novels.” You know, written by nice old ladies, and featuring stock characters such as “Comfortable old lady who smells like violets,” “Troubled young boy who will probably run away, thus becoming the catalyst to resolve the troubles of his father, who is…” “Bitter middle aged widower who just needs a little lovin’,” and “Beautiful woman who provides said lovin’.”
Well, I’ve moved on from Rosamunde Pilcher, though The Shell Seekers will always hold a place in my heart.
But two summers ago when we moved here and stayed with the in-laws for a time, I had a chance to read every single book ever written by Maeve Binchy. My husband mocked, while I only craved bon bons.
Sure, she writes old lady novels. But her characters are distinct and fully-formed. There is a lot of conflict because they are almost always Catholic. There is some strong criticism of the Church and the rifts it causes in a woman’s life as she tries to reconcile her faith/upbringing with the urges of her body. Some of her plots are simplistic, but the emotions never are.
Note: I met her when she spoke at a women’s lit class when I was in college. Circle of Friend was just coming out as a movie, and she was very excited. She’s a sweet lady and very funny.
Never before an author managed to keep me awake all night and hours beyond sun rise to finish their novel.
But Binchy did! And she did it twice.. Once about two years ago with The Glass Lake when I stayed with the book in my hand all night until 8 in the morning when I finally finished it AND yesterday as I stayed in bed from 11:30 till almost 7 in the morning with the little lamp guiding my eyes page after page as I impatiently yet gladly follow Binchy’s plots..
No praise a humble reading like myself would express my adoration for this author, her style, her depth and her realistic plots.
I simply adore her novels, connect with them, see reality in them and see them in reality.
Binchy takes you where your mind usually restrains itself either busy with life daily struggles or afraid to confront the harsh, complicated and complex reality of life.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who like, love or enjoy reading.. It will make you smile, hope and reflect..
Done with the novel today Friday 30/11 at 11:47 (the last few pages were only left because by 7 I could really push myself any further after 27 hours of work)
This review is written a couple of hours later at 14:39 🙂
This has probably been my favorite Maeve Binchy book that I have read so far. One of the things that I like about Binchy is that she is very good at describing the characters and giving the back story of the characters.
Circle of Friends tell the story of Benny and Eve, friends who grow up in a small town in Ireland. They go off to university in Dublin where their circle of friends grows and their lives change greatly. This is a story of friends and the changes we go through as we grow up.
Circle of Friends is the story of Benny and Eve, two best friends who grew up in Knockglen, Ireland together. Benny, the only child of the owner of a men’s clothing store and his doting wife, grew up treasured and somewhat sheltered, while Eve, the orphaned daughter of an heiress and her ill suited love, was brought up by the nuns in the local convent. When the girls graduate from high school and move on to college in Dublin, they are introduced to a whole new group of friends and a whole new world of adult concerns. When the awkward Benny catches the eye of Jack, the handsome son of a prominent doctor, she is swept away. But life doesn’t always follow the path of a fairy tale, and Benny soon learns that others are not as trustworthy as she would like to think.
I enjoyed this novel, and I have to admit that I was loudly cheering Benny on when she came to the conclusion that a handsome face and a lot of money do not guarantee happiness. I also loved the healthy dose of KARMA that was heaped upon the less than virtuous characters in the story……once again proving that cheaters never prosper
Irish comfort food! Re-read this for Book Club after many years. Forgot how much I enjoyed it and how wonderful a writer Binchy was. I love characters that are so real you empathize with them through all their ups and downs. Very different from the movie, but that was also very enjoyable as I recall. A lengthy book, but a fast read and even minor characters are fully developed and memorable. Perfect read on a dreary day ( and we have had far too many of those this winter!) with a nice cup of hot tea….Irish Breakfast, of course!
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