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Circle of Friends by Maeve Binchy

Circle of Friends (edition 2007)

by Maeve Binchy

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2,778372,108 (3.83)54
Title:Circle of Friends
Authors:Maeve Binchy
Info:Dell (2007), Paperback, 608 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:fiction, ireland, friends, 2012

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Circle of Friends by Maeve Binchy



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Showing 1-5 of 34 (next | show all)
Set in 1950s Dublin and fictitious town of Knockglen in rural Ireland. Friends Bernadette 'Benny' Hogan and orphan Eve Malone grow up in a small town and whilst Benny goes to university, Eve struggles to find her feet and the money to do so. They meet the ambitious Nan Mahon and the handsome Jack Foley. A story of friendships, first love and the loss of both of them.

An interesting cast of characters and a comfortable read. ( )
  boppisces | Feb 16, 2014 |
It’s easy to see why Maeve Binchy sells books by the container-load. She features humor, believable motivation and action, and true insights into the human character. But mostly, of course, her characters are so sympathetic that readers come to love them. I assume that’s the case with her other best-sellers -I have to, because "Circle of Friends" is my only exposure to Ms. Binchy’s work, and is likely to remain so.

"Circle of Friends" recounts the trials and triumphs of Mary Bernadette (“Benny”) Hogan, and her best friend in life, Eve Malone. The two girls live near Dublin in 1957 and go through everything together – a strict Catholic upbringing setting the tone throughout. The narrative focuses very exactly on their last year of high school and first year of university. Conversations cover the gambit, and are uniformly well executed – witty, true to life, and quite character-specific. Benny’s relationship with her handsome and affable boyfriend cannot quite survive his indiscretions and bad decisions. However, the author very carefully maintains a nuanced and sympathetic portrait of Jack the boyfriend – there are no cardboard cutouts among the main characters, certainly. Minor ones, too, show understandable contours in personality and motivation.

We witness a great deal of detail about these young women and men; episodes parade by in their proper order, evoking the proper amount of anticipation, or catharsis, or vindication, or empathy … we await resolution on a series of issues and at length it comes. As I said, these characters are highly sympathetic. We want for them the best possible outcomes, but while plenty seems to happen in the quotidian realm, important issues become resolved at a glacial pace. We anticipate them early on and wait and wait, and finally something surprising happens.

This author aims to treat us to two young women’s coming of age – well, maybe three – and she realizes this goal, or most of it. It’s the lack of ambition that prevents this book from having a higher score. Ms. Binchy’s readers obviously love her characters, and with good reason, but I need more from my time spent reading.

http://bassoprofundo1.blogspot.com/2014/01/circle-of-friends-by-maeve-binchy.htm... ( )
  LukeS | Jan 2, 2014 |
The circle began with Benny Hogan and Eve Malone, growing up, inseparable, in the tiny village of Knockglen. Benny - the only child, yearning to break free from her adoring parents. Eve - the orphaned offspring of a convent handyman and a rebellious blueblood, abandoned by her mother's wealthy family to be raised by the nuns. Eve and Benny - they knew the sins and secrets behind every villager's lace curtains...except their own.

The circle blossomed in Dublin, to the university where Benny and Eve met beautiful Nan Mahon and Jack Foley, the handsome son of a doctor. But heartbreak and betrayal would eventually bring the sheltered world of Knockglen and Dublin together in an explosive collision. Long-hidden lies would surface to test the meaning of love and to try the strength of bonds created within the fragile gold bands of a Circle of Friends...

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book; as I have enjoyed so many of Maeve Binchy's books that I've read in the past. I originally thought that I read it about fifteen or twenty years ago, but I was mistaken. I don't believe that I've ever read this book before. However, I do remember watching the movie starring Chris O'Donnell and Minnie Driver, when it came on television about seven months ago.

I loved both the book and the movie, but they were each so different that I was slightly confused over whether I had actually read the book before. I give Circle of Friends by Maeve Binchy an A+! ( )
  moonshineandrosefire | Nov 23, 2013 |
Sweet book! Hard to put down. The author really gets the characters to come alive. The story takes place in Ireland (home of author) in the late 50s, early 60s.The main charater, Benny, starts college. Kind of a love story but following the characters in different facets of their lives. (Occasionlly it becomes obvious that English is Binchy's second language.) ( )
  camplakejewel | Oct 22, 2013 |
From the "Rather Random Bookbox".
  BoekenTrol71 | Mar 31, 2013 |
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» Add other authors (16 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Maeve Binchyprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Huigen, RenéTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thomése, FransTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Valster, G.M.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To dearest Gordon with all my love
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385341733, Paperback)

It began with Benny Hogan and Eve Malone, growing up, inseparable, in the village of Knockglen. Benny—the only child, yearning to break free from her adoring parents...Eve—the orphaned offspring of a convent handyman and a rebellious blueblood, abandoned by her mother's wealthy family to be raised by nuns. Eve and Benny—they knew the sins and secrets behind every villager's lace curtains...except their own.

It widened at Dublin, at the university where Benny and Eve met beautiful Nan Mahlon and Jack Foley, a doctor's handsome son. But heartbreak and betrayal would bring the worlds of Knockglen and Dublin into explosive collision. Long-hidden lies would emerge to test the meaning of love and the strength of ties held within the fragile gold bands of a...Circle Of Friends.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:39:27 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

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.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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