BY NANCY BILYEAU
Publication Date: January 16, 2020
eBook & Paperback; 386 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
The year is 1911 when twenty-year-old heiress Peggy Batternberg is invited to spend the summer in America’s Playground.
But the invitation to Coney Island is unwelcome. Despite hailing from one of America’s richest families, Peggy would much rather spend the summer at the Moonrise Bookstore where she works voluntarily, than keeping up appearances with Brooklyn socialites and her snobbish, controlling family.
But soon it transpires that the hedonism of Coney Island affords Peggy more of the freedom she has been longing for. For one, 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.s
It is up to Peggy to overcome the oppression of her family and clear the name of her vulnerable lover, before she or her beloved sister become the next victims of Dreamland.
Extravagant, intoxicating and thumping with suspense, bestselling Nancy Bilyeau’s magnificent Dreamland is a story of corruption, class and dangerous obsession.
AMAZON | BARNES AND NOBLE | INDIEBOUND
Praise for Dreamland
‘Achingly believable’ – Publishers Weekly
“This fast-paced, engrossing novel from Bilyeau (“Joanna Stafford” mysteries) gives readers an up-close and personal view of New York’s Gilded Age, from the flash and glamour of the decadently wealthy to the hardscrabble conditions of newly arrived immigrants.” – Library Journal
‘Beautifully written and impeccably researched, Dreamland is a rollicking ride.’ – Fiona Davis, bestselling author of The Chelsea Girls
‘A marvelous book!’ – Ellen Marie Wiseman, bestselling author of What she Left Behind and The Life she was Given
‘Bilyeau’s thrilling novel plunges deep into Dreamland’s maze of pleasure and menace’ – Marlowe Benn, bestselling author of Relative Fortunes
‘Nancy Bilyeau’s passion for history infuses her books’ – Alison Weir
Peggy Batternburg has been graced with being part of one of America's richest families in New York's gilded age. However, Peggy would gladly give up her family's perks to continue her position at the Moonrise Bookstore. When Peggy is unceremoniously taken from the bookstore by the family patriarch, her Uncle David, she is told that the family is summering at the Oriental Hotel and her presence is needed to secure the engagement of her sister Lydia to Henry Taul, notorious playboy and someone who Peggy would rather forget. After arriving to the Oriental, Peggy visits Coney Island and the Dreamland park where she finds artwork by Stefan. Peggy is enraptured with both the artwork and artist. While Peggy is busy with Stefan, a string of murders seems to follow the couple around. When Stefan is suspected, Peggy does everything within her power to find the real killer.
I am a fan of all of Nancy Bilyeau's previous books and I couldn't wait to dive into the world and characters of Dreamland. From the ominous prologue, I was hooked into the mystery of the story. When Peggy enters the scene, I knew that this young woman would be the one to figure everything out. Peggy goes against the grain, especially when it comes to her family's wishes. She is inquisitive, insightful and willing to look deeper into prejudice and bias, especially within herself. I loved the setting of 1911 New York. Through the writing, the Gilded Age came to life-from the richness of the Oriental Hotel to the atmosphere of Coney Island. There was a lot of care taken to recreate Coney Island and Dreamland, especially when it came to the people of Dreamland. Even though we only meet most of the characters of Dreamland briefly, each of is fully realized with a rich background and story. Stefan's story is teased out slowly and through him we see the plight that many immigrants went through at the time. Though Stefan is treated unfairly and accused for simply being from his homeland, he does not lose hope or place blame. The mystery is engaging and complex as Peggy begins to realize that every murder can be traced back to her. Rich with historical detail, excitement, suspense, romance and mystery, Dreamland is an engaging read in a world that I did not want to leave.
This book was received for free in return for an honest review.
“Dreamland” is Nancy Bilyeau’s fifth novel of historical suspense. She is the author of the best-selling historical thriller “The Blue” and the Tudor mystery series “The Crown,” “The Chalice,” and “The Tapestry,” on sale in nine countries.
Nancy is a magazine editor who has lived in the United States and Canada. She studied History and English Literature at the University of Michigan. After moving to New York City, she worked on the staffs of “InStyle,” “Good Housekeeping,” and “Rolling Stone.” She is currently the deputy editor of the Center on Media, Crime and Justice at the Research Foundation of CUNY and a regular contributing writer to “Town & Country” and “Mystery Scene Magazine.”
Nancy’s mind is always in past centuries but she currently lives with her husband and two children in Forest Hills in the borough of Queens. “Dreamland” is her first novel set in her adopted hometown of New York City.
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