An enchanting novel of fierce loyalty and love in changing times, from the bestselling author of Light a Penny Candle.
Big, generous-hearted Benny and the elfin Eve Malone have been best friends growing up in sleepy Knockglen. Their one thought is to get to Dublin, to university and to freedom...
On their first day at University College, Dublin, the inseparable pair are thrown together with fellow students Nan Mahon, beautiful but selfish, and handsome Jack Foley. But trouble is brewing for Benny and Eve's new circle of friends, and before long, they find passion, tragedy - and the independence they yearned for.
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.