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Flight of Dreams by Ariel Lawhon
Historical fiction

Flight of Dreams

by Ariel Lawhon

Quick take

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

Nina Sankovitch
Bestselling Author

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?

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Member thoughts

All (236)
All (236)
Love (106)
Like (111)
Dislike (19)
263 ratings
  • 40% Love
  • 42% Like
  • 7% Dislike
  • Woodhaven, NY

    I was attached to all of the characters as I was reading it and knowing about the Hindenburg disaster before reading this book made me feel anxious for them. It was a fantastic historical fiction read

  • Kings Mountain , NC

    I just adore Ariel Lawton & her writing style! She always puts a lot of effort into researching the main subject of her books, & has such talent for writing well-rounded characters you can relate to.

  • Indianapolis, IN

    I loved seeing how each of the character's stories intertwined w/each other. I got really attached to characters and kept hoping that someone would save the day despite knowing the awaiting tragedy.

  • Seattle, WA

    One of my favorites so far and have recommended it to many others. Although I finished it long ago now, the visual and auditory imagery remains with me especially the sounds at the end of the book.

  • Yorba Linda, CA

    Beautiful and sad, emotionally powerful, this was a beautiful novel about mystery and betrayal and love, all set on the stage of a prominent historical tragedy. To me, the best kind of novel.

  • Toano, VA

    Historical fiction is definitely my thing. This book had be smiling, crying, concerned, and pained all at once. It is written cleverly and carefully and I can't rave about it enough.

  • McLean, VA

    An incredible fictionalized book based on the unfortunate demise of real people. I came to love each of the characters and mourned their inevitable loss. Extremely well researched

  • Falls Church, VA

    Ms Lawhon did an amazing job researching the Hindenburg and the passengers on that fateful flight. The book was well written, and I couldn't put it down during the last 50 pages.

  • Boston, MA

    I was woefully misinformed on facts about the Hindenburg before reading this book. I loved the fact and fiction so intricately woven into this historical novel. And I cried. A lot.


    This was my first BOTM and a great one at that! Probably one of my favorite books of 2016. Combines history and mystery while creating compelling characters in a unique setting.

  • San Antonio, TX

    Such an exciting book with vivid characters and an impending sense of doom. I loved the countdown and the constant switching to the perspective of different characters.

  • Scotia, NY

    Everyone knows the story, or do they? I liked the way the book went from character to character. For those of us with limited free time to read books, it works well.

  • Marietta, GA

    Eventhough you knew the ship was going down, I was totally engrossed in the guest's and employee's lives. The little mysteries among them were great twists and turns.

  • Lakeside, OH

    I had heard of the Hindenburg but I did not know the story behind the disaster. The author did a great job of humanizing the people from a list of passengers.

  • Prescott Valley , AZ

    While we don’t know the real cause of the explosion, I loved this premise. Learned a lot about the Hindenburg that I had never bothered to learn!

  • Charlottesville, VA

    Loved this book! I loved getting the behind-the-scenes, essentially, on such a huge disaster. Mystery, romance, history... everything I wanted.

  • San Francisco, CA

    An amazing piece of history that is still a mystery to us all. A fun, historical fiction book. I love books with different character POVs.

  • Long Beach, CA

    Very interesting! Loved knowing how it would end, but still curious about what led up to the fateful event. A great choice!

  • Hagerstown, MD

    We all know what happened to the Hindenburg, but putting a story with it made this a very interesting book. I loved it.

  • Hamlet, NC

    Now that was a good book , and mind blowing, Everyone should read it they could learn a lot.

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