In my opinion...
On the blog tour today-
This is a very different novel to all the psychological / domestic thrillers I've been reading recently- though there is still a murder-mystery woven into the story.
The story is set in Coney Island during the oppressive summer heatwave of 1911. The young heiress, Peggy Batternburg, whose character is loosely inspired by Peggy Guggenheim, is forced to endure a long holiday there with her disfunctional family, the only relief being her escape into the different world which is Dreamland. Although this then brings not only romance but added complications.
The descriptions, as I would expect from Nancy Bilyeau, are detailed and evocative both of the era, the climate and the location. Characters are clearly described and easily recognisable, Peggy is a strong heroine, likeable and frustrated. She illustrates the battle for spirited young women to break the mould, and rails, even when plotting to deceive the family, that she still has to make plans that fit in with the males.
The story explores class and prejudice, as well as the hypocrisy of family relationships. A lot of uncomfortable statements to make you cringe and think about, as it twists and turns to the inevitable conclusion.
An enjoyable novel and one that has made me want to go and see Coney Island for myself, even though I am aware it is very different now, I am intrigued to see if the shadows of its 'Golden Era' remain.
Want to know more?
The year is 1911 when twenty-year-old heiress Peggy Batternberg is invited to spend the summer in America’s Playground. The invitation to 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 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 clamor 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.
A resounding 4 glasses for this thought provoking novel
Thank you @EndeavourQuill @Tudorscribe for my ARC