Maeve Binchy's novel, Circle of Friends, tells the story of two friends who grow up in the small town of Knockglen, Ireland. Benny and Eve, who each have very different family issues, both eventually head off to college in Dublin, where their lives begin anew. A large girl, Benny becomes close friends with Jack, who later recognizes Benny as a young woman and falls for her romantically. Jack later has an affair with Nan, who pretends to be pregnant in order to secure his promise of marriage. Eve is a loving "orphan" who lives in a Catholic convent and becomes best friends with Benny when she is 10. She makes her break from the convent when she joins Benny in Dublin, where her cousin, Simon, joins their circle of friends. Tensions arise over the characters' sexual desires and Catholic beliefs, but the two girls remain loyal to their home village of Knockglen.