Circle of Friends is set against the backdrop of a small community and tells the story of three friends whose lives, over a period of ten years, become entwined in a bizarre triangle. Big, soft-hearted Benny, an adored only daughter, and Eve, the little bird-like orphan brought up by the nuns, are best friends in the small Irish town of Knockglen. On their first day at University College, Dublin, a fatal road accident brings the pair together with fellow students Nan Mahon and Jack Foley, and new friendships are quickly struck. Jack, handsome and charming, and Nan, whose sights are set higher than her friends could imagine, introduce Eve and Benny to a life of excitement and sophistication unheard of in Knockglen. But beneath their carefree student existence, trouble is brewing for the circle of friends. Benny, the good-natured clown of the group, always seems to draw the short straw in life, while Nan, selfish and very attractive, takes what she wants without expecting to pay for it. And Eve, intensely loyal to Benny, and resentful of Nan's careless optimism, becomes obsessed with the need to avenge Benny's disappointments.