Cover Image: Dreams of the Island

Dreams of the Island

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Member Reviews

DREAMS OF THE ISLAND by KATE HEWITT is the sensitively told story of Ellen Copley, who left Glasgow with her dad at the age of twelve for Canada and was abandoned by him and left in the care of relations who didn't seem to know what to do with her. The only time she felt as though she belonged was when she lived with her Aunt Rose and Uncle Dyle on Amherst island.
A chance meeting with Henry McAvoy leads to an opportunity to study art in Glasgow and she leaves her beloved island, her family and friends, and goes across the sea to her new life. When the war strikes in 1914 she makes use of her nursing training as she tends to the injured at the Royaumont Abbey hospital in France. Here she is faced with wounded humanity and the horrors of war torn Europe.
All along we see her courage, fortitude and inner strength as she faces what life throws at her, and we see the growth of her character, even in the most excruciating situations.
We wonder what the future holds for her after the war and whether her hopes for a home and family life will always be thwarted.
It is a beautifully written book which will really touch your heart and I cannot recommend it highly enough.
I was given a free copy of the book by NetGalley from Bookouture. The opinions in this review are completely my own.
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Enchanting, this book was so enjoyable as it took me home. I was born and brought up in Glasgow so was familiar with all the places mentioned.
I still go to the Miss Cranston’s tea rooms which are now called the Willow tea rooms. Some of my family went to the Art School and best of all my favourite Rennie Mackintosh got a mention.
While the book was sad in places it was so descriptive it just held your interest. I couldn’t put it down and can’t wait to read the follow up Return to the Island.  A worthy ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
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Dreams of the Island is book two of the Amherst Island trilogy series written by Kate Hewitt. In this installment of the series the reader catches back up with Ellen Copely as a young adult. In the beginning this story seems to catch Ellen in a happy time and a change in life from the first book, The Orphan's Island. Unfortunately, life changes rather quickly for Ellen and tragedy strikes again. 

Dreams of the Island opens with Ellen helping Louisa prepare for her marriage to Jed. Ellen has come to aid her friend Louisa in wedding/honeymoon preparations, as bittersweet as it maybe, showing what a mature young woman and friend Ellen has turned out to be. She tries to clear her mind of any feelings she once had for Jed because she realizes that he is no longer available to her. Ellen instead tries to focus her mind on travelling to Glasgow and her upcoming enrollment in art school. 

Once in Glasgow, she reunites with the individual that recommended she apply to art school, Henry. Henry is from an aristocratic family that contributes money to the school, so Henry is allowed to be a patron of the arts for the school. Henry quickly falls in love with Ellen to her mortification. She doesn't feel like they are a good match because of the difference in their social classes. Henry eventually convinces Ellen to marry him after he returns from a short trip to America on a very famous ship.

While in Glasgow World War I begins in France and Ellen is urged to use her nursing talents to help the cause. She reports for duty and experiences some amazingly life changing challenges that will shape her for the rest of her life. The pages Kate Hewitt wrote about the war were heart wrenching. She made it a point to the reader that war changes things in every aspect of human life. War is not just felt by the soldiers, nurses and doctors but by the families of those soldiers, nurses and doctors too. World War I left a whole generation of young adults, men and women alike, disabled mentally and physically. 

I enjoyed Dreams of the Island and catching back up with Ellen. Even though this is book two of the Amherst Island Series it can be read as a stand alone, as Kate Hewitt is good with filling in the details needed to understand the story. Kate's writing is so realistic that you can almost picture Ellen and the beautiful, selfless person that she is.  Instead of having school age problems like in The Orphan's Island she now has very grown-up problems in Dreams of the Island. The same holds true for each book, Ellen is always quick to make a friend no matter the situation because of her non-judgemental character. Ellen is a friend that would be an asset to anyone.
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I usually don't  read two books in a series close in time- I like to let the first one settle a bit- but I couldn't help myself with this one.  Ellen has made her way back to Scotland, where she first studies and then teaches art.  She's mourning, in her own way, the loss of her friends Jed and Lucas, who are back on Amherst Island and building their own lives and families.  She's called, however, to work as a nurse in WWI and finds herself staring at them again- but in less happy circumstances. No spoilers from me but know that this is a portrait of a woman in love who copes as best she can with the horrible effects of war on men.  And herself.  I'm hoping there's a third in the series so that we can learn what happens next.  Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC.  Despite my initial comment, I think this would be fine as a standalone as Hewitt gives you good background on the characters. It's a big emotional book perfect for those who enjoy sagas.
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First and foremost, I was intrigued by the absolutely GORGEOUS cover! Historical fiction is my favorite genre, and I did not realize this was part of a series when I requested the ARC, but I will surely be going back and reading the first novel in the series. This book was just a total escape for me, which I need due to the pandemic right now. I loved Ellen's character and following her experience as a nurse in the war. I also loved reading about Scotland, a place I long to visit. I can't say  how much I loved this book. I look forward to more from this author.
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This was the second book in the trilogy about Ellen. She leaves Canada for Scotland to enrol in Art school. Then becomes a nurse in the First world war .I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and found it sad at times but very interesting. l am looking forward to reading the next book to see what happens and recommend it.
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This book was the perfect escape. It was lovely and fun. It was my first book by this author and I will definitely be on the look out for more!!
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Ellen leaves to go back to Scotland. She soon settles down but when the war starts her life is turned upside down again. 

Having just read book one I was keen to follow on the story of Ellen. It's such a nice slow burn relaxing read, perfect for lazy afternoon reading. I enjoyed the story very much. It's still as heartbreaking as it is heartwarming. I am looking forward to reading the final book in this series.
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This is book number 2 in the series. Omg I love this series. I seriously inhaled the book. It is about loss , war, friendships, strength, survival, it is about finding out where you belong. . I need book 3. Thank you to netgalley for letting me read this e arc in exchange for an honest review
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Love and war

Ellen finally makes her way in Art school in Scotland . Follow her as she struggles to adjust to her new life in Scotland and the experiences she has as she does so. The Friends she makes as she struggles with the knowledge that Louisa and Jed are married and starting a family on the Island. She feels a bit lost, homesick for the island and afraid she will fail. Eventually she adjusts to life , makes some friends and she is offered a post teaching at the Art school, but before she can begin her new position World War I breaks out. She goes to France with her friends Nora and Letitia to work as a nurse.

Read this book two of Ellen's adventures as a nurse in the war. Find out what happens to her Island friends Jed and Lucas in the war. This was a wonderful second book. The war is described in detail, loss of life, limb and the emotional state of many of the returning soldiers as well as the medical staff tending them.

She is lost after the war ends as so many of the soldiers and medical staff tending them is. It will take time to adjust to her life again after four long years of war. Does she return to her job as an art teacher in Scotland, or is her heart calling her to Amherst Island and the family and friends she knew there? Where will Ellen find her forever? I can't wait for book three to find out the rest of the story.

I enjoyed reading this book and I recommend it, you will love it as much as I did.

Thanks to Kate Hewitt, Bookouture, and NetGalley for allowing me to read a copy for an honest review.

Bookouture 12-16-2020
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This book had me turning the pages so fast to see what would happen with Ellen and those that she loves so much.  Ellen faces so many trials in her life but she just keeps going.  I can not wait until I can read the next book to see how the author concludes Ellen's journey.

Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for the copy of the book.  The opinions are my own.
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Dreams of the Island by Kate Hewitt is a great historical fiction novel that is the second book in the Amherst Island trilogy. 

Here, we get to follow Ellen on her journey back to Scotland and then into the war torn areas of France during WWI in her quest to find herself, her purpose, and to find her place in life. 

I honestly enjoyed this book even better then the first. Seeing Ellen growing up, experiencing a profound move in joining Art School in Glasgow all the while being able to visit her childhood roots again must be monumental.

I enjoyed reading about her decision to use her nursing experience to help out in France as well. 

This installment was jam packed with experiences, travels, love, loss, awakenings, and changes. I loved seeing Ellen grow into a young woman and I seem to like her more and more as it goes on. 

I can’t wait to see how it all ends with the last book. Truly enjoyable.

5/5 stars

Thank you NetGalley and Bookouture for this ARC and in return I am submitting my unbiased and voluntary review and opinion.

I am posting this review to my GR, Instagram, and Bookbub ( as of 11/4/20, no BB listing has been created) accounts immediately and will post it to my Instagram, Amazon, and B&N accounts upon publication on 12/16/20.
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