In the resort town of Tramore, County Waterford, visitors arrive in waves with the tourist season, reliving the best days of their childhoods at the seaside amusements. Local teenager Helen Grant is indifferent to the charm of her surroundings; infatuated with her glamorous classmate Stella Swaine, she yearns to escape with her to art college, and from there, the world. But leaving Tramore is easier said than done. With an alcoholic father and an unsympathetic mother, Helen's family life may shatter her dream, just when it seems to be within reach . . .
Following the Grant and Swaine families and their neighbours over three decades, The Amusements is an unforgettable story about roads taken and not taken. It is a brilliantly observed portrait of life in a small town.