Circle of Friends (novel)
Overview
 
Circle of Friends is a 1990 novel by Maeve Binchy
Maeve Binchy
Maeve Binchy is an Irish novelist, newspaper columnist and speaker. Educated at University College Dublin, she worked as a teacher then a journalist at The Irish Times and later became a writer of novels and short stories.Many of her novels are set in Ireland, dealing with the tensions between...

. It is set in Dublin and the fictitious town of Knockglen in rural Ireland
Ireland
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

 during the 1950s, and centres around a group of university students.
As with her previous novels, Binchy writes about a large cast of characters:
  • Benny Hogan - a sensitive, ungainly country girl from Knockglen.
  • Eve Malone - a convent-raised orphan related to the Anglo-Irish
    Anglo-Irish
    Anglo-Irish was a term used primarily in the 19th and early 20th centuries to identify a privileged social class in Ireland, whose members were the descendants and successors of the Protestant Ascendancy, mostly belonging to the Church of Ireland, which was the established church of Ireland until...

     Westward family.
  • Nan Mahon - a beautiful, ambitious girl from a working-class Dublin family who seeks to marry into wealth.
  • Jack Foley - a handsome, popular doctor's son who falls in with with Benny.
  • Aidan Lynch - a likeable young man with a sense of humour who dates Eve.
  • Simon Westward - Eve's first cousin and a member of the Protestant Anglo-Irish ascendancy class.
  • Heather Westward - Simon's younger sister, who becomes attached to Eve.
  • Sean Walsh - an odious young man who works for Benny's father and assumes he will marry into the family business.
  • Mother Francis - the head of St.
Encyclopedia
Circle of Friends is a 1990 novel by Maeve Binchy
Maeve Binchy
Maeve Binchy is an Irish novelist, newspaper columnist and speaker. Educated at University College Dublin, she worked as a teacher then a journalist at The Irish Times and later became a writer of novels and short stories.Many of her novels are set in Ireland, dealing with the tensions between...

. It is set in Dublin and the fictitious town of Knockglen in rural Ireland
Ireland
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

 during the 1950s, and centres around a group of university students.

Characters

As with her previous novels, Binchy writes about a large cast of characters:
  • Benny Hogan - a sensitive, ungainly country girl from Knockglen.
  • Eve Malone - a convent-raised orphan related to the Anglo-Irish
    Anglo-Irish
    Anglo-Irish was a term used primarily in the 19th and early 20th centuries to identify a privileged social class in Ireland, whose members were the descendants and successors of the Protestant Ascendancy, mostly belonging to the Church of Ireland, which was the established church of Ireland until...

     Westward family.
  • Nan Mahon - a beautiful, ambitious girl from a working-class Dublin family who seeks to marry into wealth.
  • Jack Foley - a handsome, popular doctor's son who falls in with with Benny.
  • Aidan Lynch - a likeable young man with a sense of humour who dates Eve.
  • Simon Westward - Eve's first cousin and a member of the Protestant Anglo-Irish ascendancy class.
  • Heather Westward - Simon's younger sister, who becomes attached to Eve.
  • Sean Walsh - an odious young man who works for Benny's father and assumes he will marry into the family business.
  • Mother Francis - the head of St. Mary's who brought up Eve Malone, whom she regards as a daughter.
  • Kit Hegary - mother of Frank Hegarty who died in a motorcycle accident on his first day of university. She takes in Eve and gives her accommodation enabling her to attend university.

Plot

Large-boned, soft-featured Benny, an adored only daughter, and Eve, the wiry orphan brought up by the nuns, are best friends in the small fictitious Irish town of Knockglen. On their first day at University College Dublin
University College Dublin
University College Dublin ) - formally known as University College Dublin - National University of Ireland, Dublin is the Republic of Ireland's largest, and Ireland's second largest, university, with over 1,300 faculty and 17,000 students...

, an accident brings the pair together with fellow students Nan Mahon and Jack Foley, and new friendships are quickly forged. But beneath their carefree student existence, trouble is brewing for the circle of friends. Benny, the good-natured clown of the group, always seems to draw the short straw in life, while Nan, selfish and very attractive, takes what she wants without expecting to pay for it. And Eve, intensely loyal to Benny, and resentful of Nan’s careless optimism, becomes obsessed with the need to avenge Benny’s disappointments.

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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