Circle of Friends
by Maeve Binchy
I was excited to read this book set in Dublin, Ireland in 1957. I really enjoy reading books set in a different place and time then I am familiar with. I feel like even though it is fictional I can still learn something new about history. I really love learning about our past and even considered majoring in History when I went to college.
This story follows two friends, from a small town outside of Dublin, as they begin their first year at the University in Dublin. It was interesting to read what their experience was like and how it was influenced by the people around them. Their circle of friends grow and change as the story unfolds and I thought that this book does a great job of showing how the various choices that people make can effect the other people around them.
I really loved the character of Benny. She was such a likable character and I found it easy to relate to her. The other character I really liked was Aidan. He was funny, a little bit of a clown, but sweet and understanding at the same time. I really liked his interactions with Eve and I was glad that he turned out to be such a nice guy since I have a little bit of an attachment to that name. ;)
That can't be said about some of the other characters who I immediately disliked and knew that they were only going to be trouble later on. Of course a good novel has both likable and unlikable characters or it wouldn't be a very interesting story, would it?!
I have to admit that it took me a long time to get through this story. I few things contributed to this. For one, life has been very busy which hasn't allowed me as much time to read. I have been coming home after a long day of work and just been to tired to pick up the book and read. Sometimes it is just easier to watch TV mindlessly. Plus several other things on my to do list that I have felt pressure to get done in the past few weeks. You know it's bad when I make a to do list because I only make list when I'm feeling overwhelmed or particularly stressed. Maybe I would be more organized if I would make list more consistently!
That and the fact that my library loan ran out and my card expired at the same time and I didn't realize it until it was a day too late. I couldn't renew on-line since my card was expired and the library was closed. I didn't want to get too much of a late fee so I returned the book to the outside return box with my book mark still inside, hoping I could go back another day and check it out again. When I finally had time to go back and renew my card, I didn't find the same copy I checked out before but lucky for me they had another copy of the book. sigh... I don't usually forget to return my books.
But I digress, I do think that it took a while for things to start happening in this book which could have contributed to the speed in which I read it. She also jumps between scenes, as the story is unfolding, so I really had to pay attention to what was going on. One minute she is describing a date, then she starts telling about someone else's outing and then back to the date. For the most part this type of story telling worked well for her story but at times it could also be a little distracting. Really, that was my only complaint about the story and in the long run it really wasn't much of an issue. Eventually the story picked up and I really liked how the story turned out. This was a fun read and I am glad I took time to read it.