Circle of Friends

Maeve Binchy, Author Delacorte Press $19.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-385-30149-7
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.)
Reviewed on: 12/01/1990
Release date: 12/01/1990
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