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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

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 ratings (291)

  • Anneliese V.

    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

  • Sierra B.

    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.

  • Melanie A.

    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.

  • Emily T.

    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.

  • Erin V.

    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.