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Circle of Friends

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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". "[An] irresistible invitation to share the lives of people who believe in enduring values". -- "Detroit Free Press".
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About the Author

Maeve Binchy was born and educated in Dublin. She is the bestselling author of The Return Journey, Evening Class, This Year It Will Be Different, and The Glass Lakes. She has written two plays and a teleplay that won three awards at the Prague Film Festival. She has been writing for The Irish Times since 1969 and lives with her husband, writer and broadcaster Gordon Snell, in Dublin. From the Trade Paperback edition.


The charm of Binchy's novels ( Silver Wedding ; Light a Penny Candle ) lies in a seductive readability that draws one through hundreds of pages as surely as a mackerel at the end of a hooked line--contrived plot thickeners and stock characters notwithstanding. In this lengthy story of a friendship and love and loss, there are no lapses or lulls. Benny, plain daughter of a merchant, and Eve, a proud orphan raised by nuns, are close friends growing up in the Irish village of Knockglen in the 1950s. When they go to university in Dublin together, their loyalty is tested by the addition of others to their circle, most notably the beautiful, mysterious Nan, an ambitious young woman determined to rise above her working-class origins. While Nan seizes opportunities, friendships and romances are kindled and damped; ugly duckling Benny becomes a swan, and true love almost conquers all. Everybody has a colorful way with words, and if the prose is sometimes careless, this is still Irish storytelling at its contemporary best; small flaws are easily overlooked in a book that is itself so generous. BOMC featured selection. (Jan.)

Best friends since childhood in a small Irish village, first-year college students Benny and Eve are thrilled by the excitement of university life in Dublin. Befriended by Nan, a beautiful classmate with secret ambitions, the three form the nucleus of an ever-widening circle of friends that provides them with a happy sense of belonging and introduces them to a world of carefree activity. However, this light-hearted existence is brought to an abrupt halt when Nan's selfish, callous plans backfire, victimizing Benny and creating within Eve an obsessive desire to avenge Benny. Binchy is a wonderful storyteller, drawing the reader into the hearts of her characters. This engrossing examination of friendship's vicissitudes moves forward effortlessly at a marvelous pace, carrying the reader along on tense, mounting waves of loyalty and deceit. Highly recommended for all popular fiction collections. BOMC alternate.-- Sis ter M. Anna Falbo, Villa Maria Coll. Lib., Buffalo, N.Y.

YA-- Binchy transports readers to the village of Knockglen in Ireland to meet Benny, the only child of doting parents; Eve Malone, an orphan raised by nuns; and a host of local characters. The girls form a lasting friendship that continues when they go on to college in Dublin. There they meet beautiful Nan, who tries to hide her poor background and drunken father; Jack Foley, a doctor's son; and all their university friends. Provincial Knockglen and fast-paced Dublin become intertwined as the girls try to exist in both worlds. A wonderful, readable story of successes and disappointments, intrigues and loyalty, families and friendships, this novel demonstrates that testing values, maintaining relationships, and coming of age are universal struggles.-- Katherine Fitch, Thomas Jefferson Sci-Tech, Fairfax County, VA

" [An] irresistible invitation to share the lives of people who believe in enduring values." -- "Detroit Free Press" "[An] irresistible invitation to share the lives of people who believe in enduring values."--Detroit Free Press

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