The travelers' dreams suddenly seem possible and we root for them even as we confront the chapter-by-chapter countdown to the disaster.
Why I love it
Why did the Hindenburg self-destruct on May 6, 1937? As it was about to land in New Jersey, the Hindenburg, "the world's largest lighter-than-air craft" burst into flames, plunging to the earth and killing thirty-six people. Was the disaster a result of sabotage, and if so, for what purpose? Political advantage, personal revenge or something else? Ariel Lawhon comes up with a fascinating solution that will leave you both horrified and intrigued.
But Flight of Dreams is about much more than just what doomed the Hindenburg. In alternating chapters and points of view, Lawhon illustrates a different meaning to the word "flight," as in, to get away. To flee. Different characters – a stewardess with a past, a navigator in love, a cabin boy under pressure, a paranoid journalist, a disarming businessman – reveal that they are each running away from something, whether it be a terrible secret or a heavy burden or an impossible situation.
In escaping what they fear, the travelers are also hoping that the Hindenburg flight will be the start of something they long for: new love, new job, new life, new identity. Something about being in the state of travel – whether by train, plane, or car – suspends us in time, allowing us to ignore problems that are dogging us and to re-imagine our futures. And so it is for the passengers and crew of the Hindenburg, floating high in the sky, midway between the growing tensions of Nazi-Germany and a United States still naїve to Hitler's evil. The travelers' dreams suddenly seem possible and we root for them even as we confront the chapter-by-chapter countdown to the disaster. We know it will be the end of the Hindenburg, but will it also be the end of the dreams and the dreamers we come to know so intimately?