The Year Is When Twenty Year Old Heiress Peggy Batternberg Is Invited To Spend The Summer In America S PlaygroundThe 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 FamilyBut 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 MurderExtravagant, Intoxicating And Thumping With Suspense, Bestselling Nancy Bilyeau S Magnificent Dreamland Is A Story Of Corruption, Class And Dangerous Obsession If Paris is France, then Coney Island, between June and September, is the world George C Tilyou, 1886 Nancy Bilyeau presents a rip roarin stroll on the boardwalk on Coney Island in 1911 She adds lustre tinged with darkness as Brooklyn becomes a showcase for in your face class distinction, jutting prime real estate, upscale grand hotels overlooking the highjinks of people at play, the paralyzing fear of European anarchists, and America perched on the brink of war.Peggy Batternberg views life from an almost aerial perspective Born into one of the richest families in America, Peggy can t seem to get away fast enough from the clutches of the rich and famous She s taken a job at the Moonrise Bookstore in New York City posing as a plain, run of the mill shop girl Peggy just wants an every day life without a personal maid drawing her bath each evening But those simple days come to an abrupt hault as she is whisked away from the store by her Uncle David, the judge and jury of the Batternberg family.It seems that Peggy must meet the demands of her family now that her sister, Lydia, is marrying one of the richest men in New York Her presence is required at the Oriental Hotel in Brooklyn overlooking Coney Island for the summer months Peggy feels obligated after she receives the parental look from her widowed mother But our gal Peggy has a bit of a past connection with Lydia s fiance in which she s trying to keep under wraps.Not to be shackled to her hotel bed, Peggy sneaks away one evening to enjoy the raucous crowds of a Coney Island night It s here that she meets a talented Serbian artist Peggy purchases two of his paintings and they develop a relationship The handsome artist, Stefan, is irresistable and charming But like a dark shadow in the moonlight, young women are turning up dead near Dreamland Peggy and Stefan may have witnessed something at one of their rendezvous meetings And the police may just suspect Peggy and Stefan in return.Nancy Bilyeau does a fine job surrounding this storyline with all things Coney Island The setting provides just the right amount of who done it and why She s done her research and her atmospheric descriptors are spot on Her character of Peggy reflects women of the time period who ached for something in life while being plagued with social s and limits This one is a winner with no prized Kewpie Doll necessary..just a very satisfying read.I received a copy of this book through NetGalley for an honest review My thanks to Endeavor Media and Nancy Blyeau for the opportunity. Actual rating 3.5 E ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review My opinions are my own and are not affected in any way PROS Night Circus vibes Even if this is a mystery book and Night Circus is a fantasy one, and they don t have anything in common, the first chapters, plus some other parts, reminded me of precisely that one book After finishing reading Dreamland, I have read some other reviews to see if anyone had this feeling, and it turns out I am the single one that felt this way I don t know exactly what was the trigger for this, but I am inclined to think that the setting and the atmosphere had something to do with it Or, it s possible that my memory to play some tricks on me because, you know, there are years and years from when I have read The Night Circus Glimpse in the past.Since I don t read that much historical fiction, I was pleasantly surprised to discover how life was for people about 100 years ago, and mostly how it was for women back then The pacing.I have to admit that at some points I felt it is a little slow paced, but it wasn t the book s fault After some time I have realized that the not too slow not too fast pace of it, it was perfect for this kind of book, and it gave me time to sink in all the information and feelings CONS Rushed short ending.All that came after the reveal, it felt rushed Like, you put the gift in the box, but you don t take the time and the necessary supplies to give a nice look to your gift You just put it in the box, throw the address label on it and off you go It was like the way of writing it was done by someone else It didn t correspond with the rest of the book And when I am saying this, I am referring specifically to the execution, not to the way it finished OVERALL THOUGHTS This wasn t at all a bad book Neither was a very good one It delivered what it promised, had a great way to do so, and had plenty of awesome characters, but unfortunately, it didn t bring something new to me Or what it was new, it wasn t that big of a wow in order for me to rate it with than 3.5 You can follow my TWITTER If you want to support me, you can check my WHISHLIST In researching and writing this novel, I deeply immersed myself in a dazzling New York City of over a century ago and created characters that months later I can t seem to get out of my head I hope my readers enjoy this novel of suspense Here is my post for my author blog on how I got the idea for the book DreamlandGlued to my screen I was lured in with a girl working at a bookstore Moonrise Bookstore who could resist that name I followed the breadcrumbs willingly and even when the plot seemed to turn a corner, and I spoke the murderer s name out loud so I would have the smug satisfaction of saying I d called it before halfway through, there was no loosening my grip on that kindle I stayed to the very, very end Breathless and all This was a roller coaster read The characters fit their parts and the setting in Coney Island s Dreamland with all the actual events of 1911 woven in as they were could have felt very contrived They didn t it felt exactly right, deftly woven in with the action and decorated with exquisite side characters And was I right about whodunit Nope Not even close It s even better when the author bests me I don t mind, a bit I m looking for from Nancy Bilyeau.her book The Blue was an earlier read from this year look for it, too.A 4.5 stars recommendation from me for Dreamland A sincere thanks to Nancy Bilyeu, Endeavour Quill Endeavor Media Ltd and NetGalley for providing me an e ARC in exchange for an honest review. I have just finished reading Dreamland By Nancy Bilyeau The story is a historical fiction mystery that takes place in 1911 in Coney Island, with the main character being an American Heiress, Peggy BattenbergThis to me was both very interesting and enjoyable the era and place make for a great read The clothing, decor, and intrigue set up for a book that kept me interested from start to finish Thank you to NeGalley, Nancy Bilyeau, and Endeavour Media Beautifully told and Moving.Review to Follow Okay, yes, I have to be honest I requested this ARC because it was love at first sight. This cover made my cursor stop in its track and after reading the synopsis, I clicked on the button Request.Wow This was a fun ride full of suspense And I loved it Frankly, I loved Peggy the most She was such an interesting character strong, independent with a fierce and loyal heart I enjoyed reading about her rebellious nature an heiress who rejects social norms in order to live her life to the fullest Peggy is someone I d like to have as a friend, someone that takes your word for granted, and fights for what s right What I really admired about her was her strong will How she didn t crumble everytime she was called a black sheep or ignored by her family for being a New woman, who, you know, actually works And I really applauded her in the scene where she was mocked by the lower class for wanting to help Stefan She radiated amazing self confidence and didn t rise to the bait of her being just a pampered princess who has no idea what s really happening in the world Peggy was someone who didn t really fit in her world of glamour, money and comfort She was also rejected by the outside world, being labelled as a naive heiress who didn t have to work a minute for a life of privilege But what Peggy did was put on her designer clothes, used her expensive earrings and showed the world what it means to take a stand against everyone, and win.So, Peggy was my favourite of the lot But I think that Lydia was the one that had undergone through a major transformation as a character She came a long way, from being a meek, pliable girl, engaged to a prosperous partner, to a reliable sister to Peggy and a bold woman, ready to take a stand against injustice Still, this book wouldn t have been as great if it were told from Lydia s perspective In my opinion, Peggy made all the difference between making this book a delight to read and a total bore.Now, Stefan I didn t ship him and Peggy Honestly, I had another prospect in mind for Peggy and was hoping for the interest to blossom until the very end, but alas, nothing happened there Nevertheless, Stefan was an interesting character The sneers and unkindness he received for being a Serb immigrant only made this story all the accurate The time that we re living in right now is a strange time where there are a lot of immigrants crossing Europe And the media portrayals only make us judgmental We see them as a threat instead of regular people in search of a better future And of course, the public is than ready to point fingers at them when something bad happens Like with Stefan Also, it was quite refreshing reading about Dalmatia and Serbia given the fact that I m Slovene and my parents were living in the Ex Yugoslavia.And here comes the star Benny Boy Well, Ben, but I enjoyed his character way too much I started calling him that every time he blessed me with his presence I don t know what that makes me conceding that he was as twisted and cruel as the other Batternberg family members but he was something else entirely He was not quite like his father, David Batternberg, but neither was he as honest as Peggy For me, Peggy and Ben made quite a duo I was really taken by surprise how much I enjoyed this book I suspected who the real murderer was for a while but that didn t make the story lacking in any way I really appreciated the way the author portrayed the social standings how being born in money didn t make you an evil person but also how much lower classes had to work to make ends meet This being at the beginning of the 20th century, there was a lot of discrimination discrimination against immigrants, people of colour, and women ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review Huge thank you to the author Coney Island America s playground It s 1911 and American Heiress, Peggy Battenberg has been requested told your better come or else to spend the summer at the Oriental Hotel with the rest of her family She would rather continue working at the Moonrise bookstore, but appearances are everything and she and her family must keep up appearances There she meets and falls for Stefan, a pier side artist in Dreamland Amusement Park who her family would never approve of With him she feels a sense of freedom, a liberation and can be herself But women s bodies begin turning up and Peggy begins to feel see a connection to herself and begins to be in danger and read the book for the rest This was a wonderful work of historical fiction that looked at Coney Island and the division between the social classes over a century ago Themes then are still reverent today family secrets, young love, crimes against women, family expectations, etc Besides the impressive research that went into this wonderfully written book, it is also engaging, and the plot flowed seamlessly Although, Peggy had to do what her family wanted, she still found a way to find freedom, have courage, and do what she felt was right even when it went against her families wishes Peggy is a likable character with spunk As she attempts to learn the identity of the murderer, I was on the case with her, coming up with theories and motives Who is the killer What is the connection to Peggy Could she be the next victim The Author shares on her blog, the inspiration behind dreamland you to Hannah Groves form Endeavor Media who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review All the thoughts and opinions are my own. I love all of Nancy Bilyeau s books, and yet, this is my favorite She captures 1911 Coney Island and Dreamland so vividly that I could taste the hotdogs and the cotton candy and feel like I m right in the middle of the action in this lively, crazy amusement park When Peggy, the rebellious 20 year old protagonist from a wealthy Manhattan family reminiscent of the real life Guggenheims, is forced into spending the summer with her family in a luxurious hotel near Coney Island, she escapes to the forbidden Dreamland one day, and a whole new world opens to her of romance, murder, and family drama She has to fight off police and go underground to deal with the most interesting characters she would never have met on Fifth Avenue, Manhattan in an effort to find the real murderer of young women in Dreamland I just loved this book, and couldn t put it down.