Land of Dreams: A Novel

Land of Dreams: A Novel

3.8 7
by Kate Kerrigan
     
 

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Set in 1940s Los Angeles, the compelling final installment in New York Times bestselling author Kate Kerrigan’s sweeping immigrant trilogy begun in Ellis Island and City of Hope—a story of family, love, danger, and ambition in Hollywood during World War II.

Irish immigrant Ellie Hogan has finally achieved the American Dream.

Overview

Set in 1940s Los Angeles, the compelling final installment in New York Times bestselling author Kate Kerrigan’s sweeping immigrant trilogy begun in Ellis Island and City of Hope—a story of family, love, danger, and ambition in Hollywood during World War II.

Irish immigrant Ellie Hogan has finally achieved the American Dream. But her comfortable bohemian life on Fire Island, New York, is shattered when her eldest adopted son, Leo, runs away, lured by the promise of fortune and fame in Hollywood. Determined to keep her family intact, Ellie follows him west, uprooting her youngest son and long-time friend Bridie.

In Los Angeles, Ellie creates a fashionable new home among the city’s celebrities, artists, and movie moguls. She is also drawn into intense new friendships, including talented film composer Stan, a man far different from any she has ever met, and Suri, a beautiful Japanese woman and kindred spirit, who opens Ellie’s eyes to the injustices of her country.

While Leo is dazzled by Hollywood’s glitz, Ellie quickly sees that the golden glamour masks a world of vanity and greed. Though she tries to navigate them around the dangers of their new home, she will not be able protect them from an even more terrifying threat: war.

Editorial Reviews

Hazel Gaynor
“A delicious portrayal of the glamour of 1940s Hollywood, and a wonderful conclusion to the Ellis Island trilogy.”
Booklist
“Kerrigan captures the 1942 Hollywood milieu nicely with her sure touch for historical fiction.”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062340528
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
10/07/2014
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
335,613
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.90(d)

Meet the Author

Kate Kerrigan is the author of three previous novels. She lives in Ireland with her husband and their two sons.

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Land of Dreams 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I very much enjoyed this book as well the others in this series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
KrittersRamblings More than 1 year ago
Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings Ellie Hogan has been living in America for quite some time and now she is a single mom of two boys and trying to raise them in the best way.  One of her boys has been thinking about a life in LA as an actor and decides to up and leave boarding school and head there on his own.  Ellie isn't happy with his decision and follows him there where they set up a home and help him follow this dream. While the LA dream was the main storyline, I loved how the author weaved in other historical moments that were occurring at the same time and same place - the moments of Pearl Harbor and the effects from this time to the Japanese Americans.  I also loved the inclusion of the workings of early Hollywood and the invent of the actor's agent and how the studios were formed and their early workings.  
Heart2Heart More than 1 year ago
When I had the opportunity to review Land of Dreams by Kate Kerrigan, I really thought this would be a novel I would love. I love novels that take you back to fond times in our history, from WWII, to romance of the glory days of Hollywood in its infancy stages along with struggling to find ways to fit in for immigrants that had come to America searching for a better life. Even the back of the novel offered me a glimpse into something magical that fit the types of novels that I enjoy and find myself coming back to again and again. However this one for me didn't translate over from the premise to the actual story itself. There was a disconnect there I was searching for and never really found. Being a huge fan of Kate Kerrigan's from Ellis Island, I was hoping for more than what I got by the end of Land of Dreams. Ellie Hogan has been through two marriages in her life time which has resulted in her being a single mother of two boys she didn't give birth to but adopted when their own birth mothers had abandoned them. Neither of the two boys, Leo and Tom were related either. She lives on Fire Island in New York where she makes a living as an Irish impressionist selling her works of art she paints from her time on the island or from her memories in Ireland. Tom, the youngest still lives with her while Leo has been sent to a Catholic boarding school. She receives a phone call from the school telling her that Leo has simply left school and they fear is headed to California where he went with a schoolmate on vacation and found himself being lured into the magic of being the next rising star by a man he met there. Now Ellie, rushes off to find Leo in hopes of getting him to return home and back to school. When she arrives, she finds 16-year-old Leo in the company of Freddie Dubois, an upcoming agent finding new talent for the movie studios. He believes that Leo will be the next big star to make it to the big screen and has convinced Leo to audition. Ellie is torn between taking Leo back home and realizing that he already lost so much with the death of his father and abandonment of his birth mother, she relents and makes a temporary move to Los Angeles while he tries out. Upon her arrival she has now lost her drive to paint and instead immerses herself in being a full-time mother to Tom, supporting Leo in his career and making her own way in life with the men she meets. She knows she doesn't want to fall in love and get married again, but soon finds the charms of a man named Stan who comes to her aid more than once, a possibility. Soon war is declared and America is now involved with WWII and we see how that plays out for everyone involved including the internment of the Japanese Americans. I received Land of Dreams by Kate Kerrigan compliments of William Morrow, a division of Harper Collins Publishers for my complimentary copy of this novel. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions included here are strictly mine. I was hoping for more than the novel delivered for me, perhaps dealing with Hollywood a bit more than just a gloss over when Leo was auditioning for the parts, but it was more along the lines of dealing with Ellie as the central character and what that meant as she transitioned to a life she never dreamed of and made the best of for the sake of her children and her friends. There were characters you got introduced to like Freddie, who seemed like filler instead of an actual character we could care about. We see bits of pieces of him through Leo's story but never understood his motivation or why he found himself in places he winds up. Even Leo's story is a bit vague considering Ellie uproots her entire life to chase after him, but he seems like a bit of a ghost in this one. I rate this one a 3.5 out of 5 stars and believe others may have different perspective than what I got. Being a huge fan of old Hollywood and WWII, I was hoping for more than what this one delivered.
EMMacCallum More than 1 year ago
The story revolves around a practical woman named Eileen Hogan. She’s been through quite a bit by the time I met her in the third book of this trilogy. That’s right, I did it again. I started a book later in a series without realizing. That being said, this wasn’t a problem in the slightest. The author has the reader caught up in no time, stringing me along with Ellie’s interesting life and plunging me directly into her next chapter.  Ellie is a woman beyond her time. She’s headstrong which is both her strength and weakness. She doesn’t rely on people and is a mother to the core. Her adoration for her adopted children is unrelenting, steely and impenetrable. She’s also going through a life transition where plenty of realizations and readjustments are rubbing her raw. I found she adjusted to outward change easily enough though change in herself was a harder process (as it should be). She was a humbling character with a sound mind and a sensitive heart despite her wanting otherwise.  We get to follow the story from New York to L.A. where Ellie finds her runaway son who’s trying to break into the movie industry. I was introduced to realistic, heartwarming characters. I’m certain I’m not the only one who favours Bridie and her sometimes crass nature. That woman can sling an insult and not for an instant could it be considered offensive. Los Angeles introduces new people in Ellie’s life and from there the story begins. I loved how the author pulled us into Hollywood of the 1940’s. As a collector of vintage cinema myself I grinned at the name dropping. But as the cover suggests, not all that glitters is gold.
bookchickdi More than 1 year ago
Readers first met Ellie Hogan in Kate Kerrigan's novel Ellis Island. We followed Ellie as she married the love of her life John, came to America to make money for an operation John needed, and was emotionally torn as she built a life in New York while missing her husband back home. The second book in the trilogy, City of Hope, covered Ellie's life back home in Ireland with her husband. It was a difficult adjustment, moving back to a farm in rural Ireland after living in an exciting, vibrant city. After John's death, a grieving Ellie comes back to New York and opens a home for people who lost their homes during the Depression, eventually building an entire community. The third book in the trilogy, set in 1942, is Land of Dreams, which finds a middle-aged Ellie living on Fire Island working on her art. Ellie is a painter, and she has a bit of a following. She has two sons, Leo, the sixteen-year-old son of her second husband Charles, and seven-year-old Tommy, who was left as a baby by his mother in Ellie's care. When Leo runs away from his boarding school, Ellie tracks him down in Hollywood, where he hopes to find a career as an actor in the movies. She intends to take him back home, but after finding him, she decides to give him a chance at the screen test his young agent Freddie has set up for him. Leo gets a small role in a war movie, and Ellie doesn't have the heart to make Leo give up his dream. As an artist, she understands Leo's desire to express himself. She brings Tommy and Bridie, the elderly woman whom she first met when they both worked as household staff years ago in New York, to Hollywood. The family sets up in Hollywood where they seem to enjoy the sunshine lifestyle. This is a different Ellie than we have seen before. In the first two books, she was working and struggling to build a life for herself and her community. Now Ellie is middle-aged, and responsible for her two sons. Ellie had miscarriages during her marriage to John, which brought her great sadness. She never thought she would have children, and now her life revolves around her children. Many women who have children will understand Ellie's feelings about her children growing older and needing her less. This Ellie is more contemplative, more reflective about her life. She doesn't have to work so hard, she has more time to think. She met an older man, a music composer, on the train to Hollywood, and they continued their relationship in Hollywood. Kerrigan's characters are so multi-dimensional, even the minor ones. Stan, the composer, loves Ellie, but he is not willing to pine for her if she will give him no chance. Freddie, the agent, is not some sleazy Hollywood type, but a young man with a goal and he becomes a part of Ellie's family. Even Freddie's actress-girlfriend, who could be a golddigger, is interesting. Many times in trilogies, the main character remains stagnant from book to book. In Kate Kerrigan's Ellis Island series, we experience the growth and depth of Ellie from young girl desperately in love with  her husband and willing to move to America to save his life, to grieving young widow who channels her grief by building a community for those in need to middle-aged mother who loves her children enough to give them their dreams and in turn find her own.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Do not write your own novel as a review do not care