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3.89  ·  Rating details ·  2,006 ratings  ·  438 reviews
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 Yo
Paperback, 386 pages
Published January 16th 2020 by Endeavour Quill
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Joel There is a relationship, but nothing much more than kissing. The focus is much more on the rest of the story
Lume Books Hi Mary,

Thanks for your interest! "Dreamland" will be publishing in January 2020. We're glad to hear you're excited to read it!…more
Hi Mary,

Thanks for your interest! "Dreamland" will be publishing in January 2020. We're glad to hear you're excited to read it!(less)

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Average rating 3.89  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,006 ratings  ·  438 reviews

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Miranda Reads

...there is one thing I do know. Women of my family, and all others like us, cannot behave the same as men do.
Set in 1911, Peggy Batternberg (yes, she's one of those Batternbergs) is ready to spend the summer playing bookshop keeper far away from her rich, snobbish family.

But soon, she is whisked away. Her sister, Lydia, is (possibly) going to marry to the rich and gorgeous Henry Taul, but he's made a odious condition upon the whole family.

Namely Peggy and the rest of the Batternbe
Nov 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Peggy Batternberg is a member of one of the wealthiest families in America, but she doesn’t behave in the manner expected of her position in life - this is 1911, a time when privileged and wealthy young women had to maintain an air of respectability, and were told what they could and couldn’t do, especially by their menfolk.

When Peggy is invited/ordered to spend the summer with the rest of the Batternberg family at the luxurious Oriental Hotel near Coney Island she’s not at all impressed. She’s
Nov 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
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 sens
Jan 22, 2020 rated it it was ok
I cannot say liked this novel although some moments were interesting. To begin with, I found the presentation of the famous Coney Island in its golden days truly interesting, its entertainment and the people who provided it. At times I liked Peggy Batternberg for her independence and inquisitiveness. However, I found her too naive on the one hand and too intelligent on the other hand, which makes Peggy a character I can't trust.
The descriptions of the lifestyle really wealthy families had in Ame
Amalia Gkavea
Jan 17, 2020 rated it did not like it
Emancipated heroine, full of pseudo-feminist contemporary remarks: Check
Said heroine is a reluctant part of the richest family in the USA: Check
Said heroine has a superficial sister: Check
Said heroine has a strict mother: Check
Said heroine was once engaged to her sister’s evil-looking fiance because obviously: Check
Said fiance has a strict mother n.2:Check
New York setting in the year of Our Lord 1911 because we definitely need to be fashionable and pretend we are writing a Great Gatsby for the m
Jan 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Restrictions on women and the treatment of foreigners are spotlighted throughout the story. It focuses on the social structure and the formation of society on Coney Island during 1911 more so than the police procedural. The lush atmosphere was a character in itself and played a dominant role in the movement of the story.

"Everything is real on Coney Island - and nothing is real."

Peggy Battenberg is requested to stay with her family on Coney Island. She reluctantly accepts. Peggy feels trappe
Feb 11, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The cover of Dreamland is beautiful. It reminded me of Erin Morgenstern's The Night Circus which I really liked and I requested for this one without reading the summary. It's a completely different genre—Dreamland being a historical mystery and The Night Circus being fantasy. I don't know if it's just me but the cover seemed to promise magic and it was a slight disappointment when I read the summary and realized there would be none.

Dreamland takes place in 1911—Peggy Battenberg, a twenty year o
Dreamland is an amazing Historical Fiction novel set in New York. Peggy is a twenty-year-old heiress from one of the richest families in America – the Batternbergs. It is the summer of 1911 and Peggy was ordered by her family to vacation in the luxurious beach front Oriental Hotel for a few weeks to accompany her mother and sister. Peggy would much rather work at the Moonrise Bookstore, but as an heiress, a woman of her stature would not even think of working for a living. That was quickly put t ...more
Lilith Black Bee
Dec 04, 2019 rated it liked it
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.

• 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
Dec 19, 2019 rated it liked it
“Everything is real on Coney Island- and nothing is real”

Peggy Battenberg is the black sheep daughter of one of the wealthiest and most affluent families in the early 20th century America. However, she is not your typical heiress. She is a ’New Woman’, working in a bookshop and trying her best to distance herself from her family. However, when she is told she must accompany them to New York, she cannot refuse to her chagrin. They stay in an opulent hotel next to the famous theme park ‘D
"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 li
Nancy Bilyeau
Aug 19, 2019 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
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: ...more
Dec 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Beautifully told and Moving.

Review to Follow
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
Jan 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Have you been to America’s Playground? Coney Island? I’ve always wanted to visit. Dreamland has Coney Island as a backdrop, and it’s 1911.

Peggy Battenberg is a young heiress who has been invited to the Oriental Hotel not far from Coney Island. You’d think she’d want to go, right?

No. Peggy has been working at the Moonrise Bookstore, and she dislikes nothing more than rubbing elbows with fellow socialites.

Nevertheless, she heads off to the hotel, as is expected of her, and she quickly finds a fre
Nov 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dreamland, is an absorbing historical mystery with some romance set in 1911, New York City. Peggy Batternberg, a young heiress, is anxious to escape the shackles of her restrictive family which is all consumed by appearance and status. She is allowed to work in a bohemian bookstore and live in Greenwich Village but her life is disrupted when she is commanded to spend the summer at the Oriental Hotel in Manhattan Beach, Brooklyn, next to Coney Island, which was then home to three amusement parks ...more
Brooke — brooklynnnnereads
I have to be honest, this story turned out to be totally different than what I thought it would be. From the summary and the cover, I thought this novel's setting would have a huge impact on the story. I expected the novel to have an atmosphere that would be fantastical and magical, set in a historic Coney Island. I thought the setting would be something similar or akin to "Water for Elephants" or "Caraval" where it made the whole story feel somewhat whimsical and fascinating.

However, this nove

Glued 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
May 03, 2020 rated it it was ok
In the beginning nothing much happens in this book. Reader learns about main character and her family and I was waiting for more action. Then I was attacked with more and more plots and it felt too intense to truly enjoy it.

I didn't really like Peggy Batternberg, main character. She seemed rude, arrogant and snobby just like the rest of her family even if she believes she's different than them. And for most time she was hating her life when she spent time with her family while going with them f
Martie Nees Record
Dec 17, 2019 rated it liked it
Genre: Historical Fiction Murder Thriller
Publisher: Endeavour Media
Pub. Date: January 16, 2020


I had some disappointment with this novel. I thought it would be a shoo-in for me since I was reading about my childhood backyard. The novel is set in 1911 in Coney Island, Brooklyn NY. Back then, the amusement park truly earned its nickname of “America’s Playground.” For more than 100 years Coney Island has been synonymous with summer. I am a summer person. I couldn’t wait to dive into the s
I really enjoyed Nancy Bilyeau’s previous book, The Blue, with its combination of convincing period detail, engaging heroine and intriguing mystery. The author achieves the same feat in Dreamland. The backdrop of an intense heatwave reflects the passionate undercurrents of the story and its more melodramatic moments.

The setting of Coney Island, brilliantly brought to life by the author, in many ways reflects the gulf between rich and poor. The rich and privileged of society, such as the Batternb
Dreamland set in Coney island

Visit the locations in the novel Dreamland

there’s a kind of novel I get very excited about is when I get to travel back in time to a place I would have loved to have visited for real. Dreamland is set firmly in America’s golden age and at the heart of Coney Island. A ticket back in time to 1911 you say? I’m there!

Dreamland was one of three theme parks which became known as America’s playground. The hedonism, the parties, the promises! It sadly burned down in 1911 but the author has brought i
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 fulle
Set in the golden age of Coney Island in 1911; this book immerses you in the sights and sounds of Dreamland and the other amusement parks, while women are beginning to clamber for the vote, where Serbia is a hotbed of anarchism, where union labour laws were being challenged, and yet the rich are living their privileged entitled lives, immune to the poverty around them. The story contains a murder mystery and a romance and was highly enjoyable read.
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 Battenberg

This 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
Amy Bruno
Well, 2019 has come full circle! I kicked off the year by reading Nancy Bilyeau's novel, The Blue, and now I'm closing the year out with her newest novel, Dreamland! I could not think of a better book to be my last read of the year - it was fabulously entertaining!

Peggy is an heiress of the Batternberg family, a wealthy and powerful family along the likes of the Rockefellers. Despite the fact that she is the granddaughter of one of the richest men in America, she prefers her job as a shop girl a
Susan Peterson
Nov 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Dreamland takes place in 1911 at Coney Island, a hot scorching summer. It was during a time when the world was struggling with women's rights, workers' rights, and bigotry towards immigrants. It was also a time of great disparity between the rich and the poor, and Coney Island itself was a place where the rich could live sheltered in the grand hotels, but not far from the amusements, the thrills, and the depravity offered by Coney Island's Dreamland. I was completely immersed in the time and the ...more
Michele Koop
Aug 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Jan 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: net-galley
What an incredible read. It gives you an insight into being an heiress in one of the richest families in America circa 1911. A summer on Coney Island, unsolved murders, an illicit affair between an heiress and an imigrant, drugs...what did this book not have? It would have been so much better with more description of hotels, coney island et. al. Otherwise very well done and look for more from this author!
ʙᴇʟᴀ.: ☾**:.☆*.:。.
ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review (Thank you!)
Dec 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoyed this captivating mystery set in the early 20th century. Full review to follow for Blog Tour
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Nancy is a writer and magazine editor who has worked as an editor at "Rolling Stone," "InStyle," and "Good Housekeeping."

Her new historical novel is "Dreamland," set in 1911 New York City and telling the story of a rebellious heiress who escapes from her over protective family to experience the delights of Coney IIsland--but there are dangers too. The novel has received starred reviews from Publi

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