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Review: The Amusements by Aingeala Flannery

I so enjoyed this collection of interrelated stories about various characters living in, or connected to, the Irish seaside town of Tramore. The two central characters are Helen and Stella, who first meet when the rebellious and free-thinking Stella turns up at Helen's secondary school. Helen's not sure why Stella's there - she comes from the top town, where girls go to school at the Ursuline Convent. But Helen doesn't care why, she's immediately captivated, and a little in love, with 'Stella Swoon' as Helen's brother calls her. The girls become very close, but Stella is always slippery and unpredictable. When Helen gets a job at the local supermarket to help her to save to go to art school (an ambition strongly opposed by her mother) vicious behaviour by Stella's mother and an unforgivable betrayal by Stella herself break the girls apart; they are not really reunited until the end of the book, thirty years later. In some ways Helen's household r

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