The kitchen was full of the smells of baking. Benny put down her school bag and went on a tour of inspection.
"The cake hasn't been iced yet," Patsy explained. "The mistress will do that herself."
"What are you going to put on it?" Benny was eager.
"I suppose Happy Birthday Benny." Patsy was surprised.
"Maybe she'll put Benny Hogan, Ten."
"I never saw that on a cake."
"I think it is, when it's a big birthday like being ten."
"Maybe." Patsy was doubtful.
"And are the jellies made?"
"They're in the pantry. Don't go in poking at them, you'll leave the mark of your finger and we'll all be killed."
"I can't believe I'm going to be ten," Benny said, delighted with herself.
"Ah, it's a big day all right." Patsy spoke absently as she greased the trays for the queen cakes with a scrap of butter paper.
"What did you do when you were ten?"
"Don't you know with me every day was the same," Patsy said cheerfully. "There was no day different in the orphanage until I came out of it and came here."
Benny loved to hear stories of the orphanage. She thought it was better than anything they read in books. There was the room with the twelve iron beds in it, the nice girls, the terrible girls, the time they all got nits in their hair and had their heads shaved.
"They must have had birthdays," Benny insisted.
"I don't remember them." Patsy sighed. "There was a nice nun who said to me that I was Wednesday's child, full of woe."
"That wasn't nice."
"Well, at least she knew I was born on a Wednesday . . . Here's your mother, now let me get on with the work."
Annabel Hogan came in carrying three big bags. She was surprised to see her daughter sitting swinging her legs in the kitchen.
"Aren't you home nice and early? Let me put these things upstairs."
Benny ran over to Patsy when her mother's heavy tread was heard on the stairs.
"Do you think she got it?"
"Don't ask me Benny, I know nothing."
"You're saying that because you do know."
"I don't. Really."
"Was she in Dublin? Did she go up on the bus?"
"No, not at all."
"But she must have." Benny seemed very disappointed.
"No, she's not long gone at all. . . . She was only up the town."
Benny licked the spoon thoughtfully. "It's nicer raw," she said.
"You always thought that." Patsy looked at her fondly.
"When I'm eighteen and can do what I like, I'll eat all my cakes uncooked," Benny pronounced.
"No you won't, when you're eighteen you'll be so busy getting thin you won't eat cakes at all."
"I'll always want cakes."
"You say that now. Wait till you want some fellow to fancy you."
"Do you want a fellow to fancy you?"
"Of course I do, what else is there?"
"What fellow? I don't want you to go anyway."
"I won't get a fellow, I'm from nowhere, a decent fellow wouldn't be able to talk about me and where I came from. I have no background, no life before, you see."
Copyright © 1991 by Maeve Binchy. Permission by Delacorte Press® , a division of Random House Inc.
Perhaps one of the most beloved of Maeve Binchy’s novels, Circle of Friends has it all: a large and colorful cast of characters, an irresistible story and a seductive charm that draws you in and never lets you go.
At the heart of the novel are Benny, the only child of doting parents, and Eve, a proud orphan raised by nuns. Growing up together in the Irish village of Knockglen, they’ve been inseparable since childhood, but their loyalty gets tested when they go to college and befriend fellow students like beautiful Nan and the charming Jack Foley. Because even as their new experiences bring them adventure and passion, they also bring heartbreak. For as they discover, life can be treacherous…even within their circle of friends….
Hardcover Book : 576 pages
Publisher: Random House Inc. ( December 07, 2011 )
Item #: 13-446308
Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.25 x 0.9inches
Product Weight: 23.0 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
She is a wonderful writer, it is like reading about family or friends. I have read all of her books and pretty sure I have them all and will cherish them for the rest of my life. Thank you!
Reviewer: Connie C
Maeva Binchy CANNOT write a bad book....I read Circle of Friends years ago, but did not own a copy.....I was so happy to have this opportunity to re-read it. I own almost all of her books....I think except 3 of the early ones. I hope I have an oppotunity to add those to my collection. Thank you!!
Reviewer: Sara C