Review: Circle of Friends by Maeve Binchy

Challenge prompt: A book everyone else has read but you.


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.

Image via Goodreads

What I liked:

I love stories following characters throughout their lives. You really get to know them so well throughout the book. This account of Benny and Eve from their childhood to college years is a wonderful story.

This is the first Maeve Binchy I’ve ever read. I admit to being a little apprehensive about it. I’ve got a couple of Internet Friends who love her books, so I do think I was afraid of annoying them. I started with one of the books I felt I knew a little about, but went in majority in blindness. This was the best thing I could do, I think.

I absolutely loved this book. Maeve Binchy was a phenomenal storyteller, and I’m quite annoyed with myself for not reading any of her books before now.

The book may have been written in the 1990s, and set in 1950s Ireland, but it feels incredibly timeless. It could easily be set in modern day Ireland, or in the 1800s. This is a testament to how wonderful Binchy was as a writer.

What I didn’t like:

I’m a hugely character driven reader, and there are some instances here of characters who don’t gel well with me. I did start the book liking Nan Mahon. one of the friends the girls meet in Dublin. I was turned off her throughout the book as her true character started to show.

Out of five:

A super strong four. I’ m very excited to discover Maeve Binchy’s other books.

2 thoughts on “Review: Circle of Friends by Maeve Binchy

  1. I loved Circle of Friends! I felt sorry for Nan though, she was awful, but kind of damaged? The film’s worth a watch too – it’s terrible but lots of famous faces

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