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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 13 January 2012
I love everything that comes from the pen of Maeve Binchy and this book is no exception. I'd not read the book previously but added the CD version to my collection as soon as it was published, and was not disappointed. I have every book of Maeve's which has been published on CD - and love them all. Circle of Friends is unabridged and runs for about 15 hours - it never lost my interest at any point. The characters are all so believable and interwoven throughout the story. I find the CD versions of Maeve's books come to life when read so beautifully by Kate Binchy and give the characters their own "voices". Having listened to them, I sometimes find films/DVDs of the same stories a bit confusing because I already have a picture in my head of the characters - and they look all wrong on screen! I would highly recommend this story in any version.
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on 11 July 2005
Having read many of Maeve Bincheys books, i have to say that Cirle of Frieds, one of her earlier novels, is easily one of the best, and a book i would happily recommend to anyone looking for an entertaining, laugh-out-loud, hankies at the ready book.
Based on two friends, Benny and Eve, from a sleepy village in Ireland, the book centres on friendship and growing up. Binchey deals with love, tradegy, the struggle to fit in, and the strength of true loyalty between friends.
The characters are wonderful, people you love, like, dislike and hate. People you relate to and people you can easily imagine. Maeve Binchey has a talent of making you feel part of the story, making the characters seem like people you know and the heartaches feel like they are yours.
I laughed out loud at this book, as i do at most Binchey novels, she is a truly humerous Irish author. I also shed a few tears! The Irish backdrop, the accents and the life in a Catholic village with nuns for teachers, is ever popular in Bincheys stories and a formula that works again and again.
Read this book. . . . and appreciate the people close to you. Too often we take the people we love for granted. . . .let Circle of Friends show you real strength among true friends!
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on 21 May 2000
The second Maeve Binchy book I ever read and now I've read them all this is still the best. The characters almost seem real - you feel you know them and the book ends you want to keep reading about them - if only the author would write a follow-up! Great Book - Great Read
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on 7 May 2000
This book is brilliant. It was the first Binchy novel that I read and is by far the best. The characters are alive and the story is completely gripping - ranging from painfully sad to hilarity. Buy it, read it!
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on 27 October 2009
This is my favourite book and has been since I first read it at the age of 17, and I get just as much out of it ten years on as I did back then. I read it yearly and often look to the sensible, independent and loyal female characters Binchy writes for advice and guidance.

The book Circle of Friends (NEVER see the film) has got everything a woman could ask for in a story. It'll make you laugh and cry, it'll fill you with anger and pity and you'll lose yourself as the plot unfolds.

More than this, it's the ultimate, triumphant story of two misfit girls who, against the odds of appearance and circumstance, find their place in the adult world. They face trials in the form of beautiful girls, handsome men, upper-class snobbery and controlling nuns, but, by remaining loyal to each other and remaining resolute through hardship, they achieve their independence and succeed.

Read it. It's the first book I'll ever give my daughter when she comes of age.
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on 18 August 2000
This book is the grandest book I have ever read. It pulls you into to it, makes you feel as if you are part of the story, as if one of the characters. You can't put it down, and when you do, you find your mind wandering back. If you beleive in true friendships, and that comes with sad parts as well, then read this book, it will make you value and friendship you have, even more. A GOOD BOOK!
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on 1 April 2009
The story starts in a little Irish town outside Dublin City called Knockglen. Two ten year old girls become the best of friends. Benny Hogan is an only child, over protected by her parents, and Eve Malone the daughter of a protestant mother and catholic father, who has lost both of her parents and been reared in a convant by nuns.

The story then goes on to when the girls are 18 years old and start university in UCD Dublin. They meet beautiful shallow Nan, popular Jack and others and form a friendship. Nans dream is to meet and marry a rich man. She will do anything to have this dream come true and it doesnt matter who she hurts. Benny fall's in love with Jack and to everyones suprise as shes not the most beautiful in the cirle of friends and referred to by the men in the group as 'Big Ben' Jack also falls for her.

As usual with books written by Binchy this has quite an unpredictable ending. This book is full of humour, this is probably the best Binchy book ive read so far!
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on 14 May 2014
I love her stories centering around Dublin and have read all the Tara Road/Quentins/Scarlet Feather books more than once as it is like catching up with old friends. I hadn't read Circle of Friends but I have just finished it and will certainly read it again.

I got really absorbed in the plot and the different characters were each painted so vividly that I almost felt I was watching a film. Maeve Binchy is an absolute master of description
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on 21 August 2015
I love this story, I have read it so many times and because there are lots of characters and lots going on so each time I read it there are things I have forgotten. I can relate to Benny and to Eve, although their lives are different to mine, I really really like this story. Small town life, uni life, life of expectations and life the way it really can be . There are people in the story that remind me of friends I know/knew almost takes me back to when I was this age, but in a totally different decade!!
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on 15 March 2000
After several years since reading Circle of Friends, I can still remember it. You felt for the main female charector and followed her through the years she developed into a young women. I could not put it down and when I had to could not wait to pick it up again. I felt her charector was that of a flower that was never picked, were infact she was the lovliest flower in the garden. Her charector blossemed. You became part of the book as you read, I was sad when she was sad and of course happy when things went right for her. A brillient read. Infact well worth reading again as it was so enjoyable.
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