I was so excited to receive an Advanced Reader’s Copy of Dreamland by Nancy Bilyeau from Endeavor Media! This was a fun romantic mystery about the summer of 1911 in Coney Island. Peggy Batternberg would rather be in Manhattan, working at her local bookstore, but is brought begrudgingly to the opulent hotels of Coney Island for the summer with her entire extended family. The Batternbergs happen to be very, very rich and are used to a certain level of propriety and standard of living, reminiscent of many Gilded Age families like the Vanderbilts.
I have sadly never been to Coney Island, but I’ve always been fascinated by coastal beach towns & boardwalks. This book did a perfect job of setting the scene between the haves & the have-nots. I loved the richness of the settings described by the author and felt the delight in the atmosphere as I was reading.
Unfortunately, the characters felt a little flat to me. I wasn’t super invested in any of the Battenbergs, instead preferring the scenes when Peggy spent time with Stefan. Their romance was GREAT. I also really enjoyed the peripheral stories of the criminal activity going on allaround Coney Island.
All in all, this was a fun read, but it did feel a little rushed at the ending. This was a 3.5/5 star read for me, and I think if you’re someone looking for romance with a little mystery in an phenomenally atmospheric setting, this could be the book for you!