Dreamland by Nancy Bilyeau



The year is 1911 when twenty-year-old heiress Peggy Batternberg is invited to spend the summer in America’s Playground.

The invitation to the luxurious Oriental Hotel a mile from Coney Island is unwelcome. Despite hailing from one of America’s richest families, Peggy would much rather spend the summer working at the Moonrise Bookstore than keeping up appearances with New York City socialites and her snobbish, controlling family.

But soon it transpires that the hedonism of nearby Coney Island affords Peggy the freedom she has been yearning for, and it’s not long before she finds herself in love with a troubled pier-side artist of humble means, whom the Batternberg patriarchs would surely disapprove of.

Disapprove they may, but hidden behind their pomposity lurks a web of deceit, betrayal and deadly secrets. And as bodies begin to mount up amidst the sweltering clamour of Coney Island, it seems the powerful Batternbergs can get away with anything…even murder.

Extravagant, intoxicating and thumping with suspense, bestselling Nancy Bilyeau’s magnificent Dreamland is a story of corruption, class and dangerous obsession.

My Thoughts

One of my favorite settings in books is an amusement park, so the setting of Coney Island in this story is perfect! This story takes place in the early 1900s and follows a young wealthy lady who vacations in Coney Island with her family and struggles to fit in with the “high class expectations” of her family. The storyline had some similar themes as the movie, Titanic, with the “wealthy girl mingles with the lower class and falls for an unsuitable gentleman”.

This story was a lot of fun…it was full of great descriptions of Manhattan Beach and Coney Island, the sights and sounds were described so well, I truly felt like I was there. There was also an air of mystery to the story, with some murders taking place.

I really found the peek into the wealthy family’s dirty laundry interesting. The romance was decent, but not my favorite (I never really enjoy romance though).

Overall, this was a very fun, atmospheric, summery story that a lot of people should enjoy. Recommended!

My Rating

4 stars

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