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Extended Audio Sample Circle of Friends Audiobook, by Maeve Binchy Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (26,852 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Maeve Binchy Narrator: Fionnula Flanagan Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: August 2000 ISBN: 9780553752656
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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. 

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lisa | 2/15/2014

    " Ohhh. Benny. I love love her character and Ms. Binchy (was) such a star in character creation. There were quite a number a people to keep track of--possibly the only downside---but I couldn't stop going once I got into this book. This author has such a way of developing characters and story that you feel as though you have an inside track on a small Irish town, Dublin, college, and group of friends. I can't say that I was left with a "good" feeling at the end. I did hope for more. But I cannot help but think of this book even after its ending, which says a lot-- at least to me. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Trudee Hunter | 2/13/2014

    " The picture on the cover of Circle of Friends tells us quite a bit really. As much as I love an English setting and enjoy being taken back a few decades, I found this story lacked pace. I had always wanted to read one of Maeve Binchy's books as a couple of friends are great fans, but perhaps the 'ordinariness' of the characters (although each one is decidedly well portrayed)pre-determined my overall opinion. We all know personalities that are akin to Benny, Eve, Jack and Nan's and can probably place them into a myriad of work places which is obviously indicative of a good story teller. And although I haven't rated it highly the heart of the author comes through giving me a sense of wholeness. It is good to be reminded that wherever we do our growing up there will always be conflict, pain, competitiveness, but also growth, happiness and friendships that do last throughout one's lifetime. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Adrian | 2/11/2014

    " Fell apart halfway through, but clever writing with multilayered characters. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 MajorBedhead | 2/8/2014

    " So much better than the movie. It doesn't have the tradtional happy ending that most romance novels have, which is refreshing. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Yovani | 2/6/2014

    " I'm the HUGEST Maeve Binchy fans. I really love the way she tells stories! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jen | 2/5/2014

    " I wish I could give it more than 5 stars. It deserves about a hundred. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Diana | 1/31/2014

    " Of all novels by Maeve Binchy, this was my favorite novel by this author. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Melissa Elizabeth | 1/18/2014

    " The book had a lot more romantic moments in it, but the movie had a happy ending. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dottie | 1/15/2014

    " This one I picked up for the Irish setting -- loved the book found a new favorite author of light reading with a bit of "meat" tucked in to hold one's interest. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Glynda | 1/5/2014

    " This was and still is one of my favourite Maeve books. Even the movie was good. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Berit Beth | 12/6/2013

    " I`m fond of Maeve Binchy`s styel of writing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shannon | 12/1/2013

    " I read this book years ago and ended up liking it even more than the movie. It was my first Maeve Binchy book and I became hooked! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michael Anson | 11/15/2013

    " Sucessfully written in a very endearing, conversational tone. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Elvia | 11/14/2013

    " I'm usually a fan of Binchy books. Not what I expected but a good book none the less. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Linda C | 10/30/2013

    " It was a hard decision to rate a 3 or a 4 - if I could I'd say 3.5! It was a nice read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Heather | 10/29/2013

    " I loved this book. Such a realistic book. Spoiler alert; I like that it doesn't have a fairy tale ending. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jamie | 10/7/2013

    " I love reading about all her chracters! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Vampiregirl14 | 8/26/2013

    " A little difficult to get through her writing but enjoyed it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Caitlyn | 11/29/2012

    " in the middle of reading, great so far "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Amelie | 11/16/2012

    " This was the first Maeve Binchy book I ever read and I absolutely loved it! The character development is so rich. At least, that's what I remember about it... It's been so long. It's one of those books I would happily read again. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gerry M | 10/30/2012

    " This was one of the first Maeve Binchy books I ever read. Maybe not my favorite, but gives you that curl up and read feeling. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jayne Charles | 10/17/2012

    " A good gossipy read which avoids an overly- syrupy ending. Fans of Maeve Binchy should enjoy this. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lena Vickers | 6/22/2012

    " I just finished this book and LOVED it. So far, it's the best of Binchy for me, although I did really like "Tara Road". Benny is such a likable character and her best friend Eve would've done anything for her, and vice versa. A lovely read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Janice | 3/17/2012

    " I love Maeve Binchy books. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Samantha L. | 2/9/2012

    " A sweet comfort read! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Barbz | 9/5/2011

    " If you like a character-driven story then this book is for you. The characters are so rich and lively that by the end of the book you feel like you've moved to another state (or more accuratly, country) because your friends are gone. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Jayne | 7/31/2011

    " I thought this plot seemed familiar to an old Minnie Driver and Chris O'Donnell film and as it turns out they're the same. I didn't like her writing style nor did I like the morals of the characters. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Khadija | 5/19/2011

    " Loved this book! A beautiful story about friendship, love and heartbreak. The characters in this book were just amazing. Everyone from a different background finding their own space and realm in each others lives. Beautifully written story. I give it 5 stars! Maeve Binchy is an amazing storyteller. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Suede | 1/22/2011

    " I liked the book, in a good easy to read type of way. I also thought that it would help me understand my husband's brother in law when we talked. Then I realized he was Australian. Whoopsies. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Seny Cheney | 12/5/2010

    " This is the only book I've read where I also watched the movie and liked the movie almost better or at least as much, in a different way, as the book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 K D | 9/9/2010

    " The best of Maeve Binchy's books. On the cusp between an old fav and new. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Aimee | 8/11/2010

    " When one is in Love they should declare it or risk losing it :) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Keely | 4/2/2008

    " i've only read circle of friends. i couldnt find the book in goodreads without being a combination with another story...

    Circle of friends was enjoyable. It's a comfortable kind of story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tracy | 3/21/2008

    " i liked this book very much. binchy is like an old sweater - she's cozy and comfy and nice to hang out with from time to time. "

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About the Author
Author Maeve BinchyMaeve Binchy is the author of numerous best-selling books, including her most recent novels, Heart and Soul, Whitethorn Woods, and Tara Road, which was an Oprah’s Book Club selection. She and her husband, Gordon Snell, live in Dalkey, Ireland.
About the Narrator

Fionnula Flanagan was born and raised in Dublin, Ireland. From an early age she grew up speaking both English and Irish on a daily basis. Her parents weren’t native Irish speakers but wanted Fionnula and her four siblings to learn the language. Her mother used to say, “A nation without a language is a nation without a soul”. Fionnula has said she will be forever grateful to them for that. She was educated at the Abbey Theatre School in Dublin and in Switzerland. She moved to Los Angeles in 1968 and lives with her husband, psychiatrist Dr. Garrett O’Connor, in Beverly Hills. Of her enormous body of work, including stage, television and film, she might be most well-known for James Joyce’s Women, in which she plays six different women who had a profound influence on James Joyce‘s life. Besides giving an award-winning performance, she also wrote, adapted and produced the piece for the stage, and subsequently as a feature film. She believes Joyce is the most important writer in the English language, most notably for Ulysses, Finnegan’s Wake and The Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man.