Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Books Read: Kate Kerrigan - Land of Dreams

1940s Hollywood. A new life. A new love. 

A mother's love, a woman's ambition and a Hollywood romance in a time of war. Land of Dreams is the stunning third novel in the Ellis Island trilogy which began with young, determined Ellie Hogan's arrival in New York from the poverty of rural Ireland in the 1920s.
The 1940s sees a threat to Ellie's idyllic and bohemian family lifestyle on Fire Island when her eldest son, Leo, runs away to Hollywood to see his fame and fortune.  Ellie is compelled to chase after him, uprooting her youngest son and long-time friend and confidante Bridie as she goes.

Ellie fashions a new home amongst the celebrities, artists and movie moguls of the day to appease Leo's star-studded dreams. As she carves out a new way of life, Ellie is drawn towards intense new friendships. Talented composer Stan is completely different to any other man she has previously encountered whilst kindred spirit Suri opens Ellie's eyes to a whole new set of injustices. 

Ellie sees beyond the glitz of 1940s Hollywood, realising that the glamorous and exciting world is also a dangerous place overflowing with vanity and greed. It is up to Ellie to protect her precious family from the disappointments such surroundings can bring and also from the more menacing threats radiating from the war raging in Europe.

Land of Dreams is the final book in Kate Kerrigan's Ellis Island trilogy and once more Ellie Hogan's life has evolved since we first met the frightened young twenty-something that arrived in New York all those years ago.  

Ellie has now forged a new career for herself as a successful artist and is currently renting a studio on Fire Island with her youngest son but things are about to change once again when she receives a call from her eldest son's school to say that he has run away.

Leo, an impressionable 15-year-old, has decided to head to Hollywood to make it as an actor after he meets someone who has told him that he can help him make it in the film business. So it's up to Ellie to follow, bringing along old friend Bridie and youngest son Tom for the ride, to try and find him to make sure that he comes to no harm.  But it's Ellie herself that she soon finds herself caught up in the glitz and glamour of this lifestyle as once more she adapts to her new life and surroundings.

You probably could read Land of Dreams as a standalone book as there are a few recaps throughout but I'm definitely glad that I decided to buy and read the other two books in the trilogy first, Ellis Island and City of Hope, before reading this one as it enabled me to catch up with everything that had happened to Ellie's life up to this point.  

I loved seeing how Ellie had developed as a character throughout the trilogy, from a young naive newlywed to a twice-widowed strong woman, she's certainly had more than her fair share of dramas along the way but these have all helped mould her into the confident forty-something woman that she has now become.  Her relationship with Bridie was interesting too as it changed over the years from bossy housekeeper to her becoming a much loved member of this disjointed family. 

I really enjoyed this series although if I'm honest I preferred the first two books a little more than I did this one, but that's not to say it isn't a great book because it is, it certainly helped wrap up Ellie's story to a satisfying conclusion.   

I'd like to thank Grainne at Killeen Communications for sending me a copy of this book to review. Amazon links: Trade Paperback or Kindle  

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