Read Flight of Dreams by Ariel Lawhon Online


On the evening of May 3rd, 1937, ninety-seven people board the Hindenburg for its final, doomed flight to Lakehurst, New Jersey. Among them are a frightened stewardess who is not what she seems; the steadfast navigator determined to win her heart; a naive cabin boy eager to earn a permanent spot on the world’s largest airship; an impetuous journalist who has been blacklistOn the evening of May 3rd, 1937, ninety-seven people board the Hindenburg for its final, doomed flight to Lakehurst, New Jersey. Among them are a frightened stewardess who is not what she seems; the steadfast navigator determined to win her heart; a naive cabin boy eager to earn a permanent spot on the world’s largest airship; an impetuous journalist who has been blacklisted in her native Germany; and an enigmatic American businessman with a score to settle. Over the course of three hazy, champagne-soaked days their lies, fears, agendas, and hopes for the future are revealed. Flight of Dreams is a fiercely intimate portrait of the real people on board the last flight of the Hindenburg. Behind them is the gathering storm in Europe and before them is looming disaster. But for the moment they float over the Atlantic, unaware of the inexorable, tragic fate that awaits them.Brilliantly exploring one of the most enduring mysteries of the twentieth century, Flight of Dreams is that rare novel with spellbinding plotting that keeps you guessing till the last page and breathtaking emotional intensity that stays with you long after.From the Hardcover edition....

Title : Flight of Dreams
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780385540025
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 336 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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Flight of Dreams Reviews

  • Angela M
    2019-05-01 02:40

    When reading historical fiction , it's easy for the reader to feel like we have a heads up on the characters since we know what's going to happen and in this case we knew what but really never knew what actually caused the explosion of the Hindenburg . Ariel Lawhon has cleverly provided a fictional account of one possible scenario. In her notes at the end , she expresses her belief that this could not have been an uneventful journey as has been described by a survivor and imagines the lives of some of the real people on this voyage and what they may have said and done .At first It felt bit disjointed to me with alternating chapters of five people on board the Hindenburg, catching glimpses of who they were but then after several chapters their stories became clearer to me . It took me a while to warm up to the characters but then I couldn't help but love Werner Franz, a sweet 14 year old boy working as a cabin boy to help his family. I was also touched by Emilie, the stewardess whose story in a way sets the stage for what we know will come in Nazi Germany. A mystery of sorts is presented : who are these people and why the secrecy and does any of this have to do with the explosion that we know will occur? Originally I thought I would rate this 3.5 , although rounded up to 4 stars . That was probably due more to the fact that mysteries are not a favorite genre for me but the more I think about this book , it's a solid 4 stars . The creative way the author has depicted what was happening in Europe as well as what the Hindenburg looked like inside as well as creatively imagining what was happening with some of the real people on board is so well done . The ending chapters were worth rereading. It's haunting, really to wonder what actually happened. Thanks to Random House and Edelweiss.

  • Elyse
    2019-05-19 02:42

    *Awesome* blimp blitz suspense...but NO WAY....did it happen as Lawhon imagined... but GREAT NOVEL!!! The 'real' YouTube footage is unreal... it's hard to believe anyone survived it!!!

  • Lori
    2019-04-28 22:36

    Like most people I knew that the Hindenburg was a gigantic "blimp" that exploded, but past that I knew nothing. The challenge authors face when writing about actual historical events is that most readers know how it will end; the challenge lies in putting the pieces together in a way that puts the reader there... in the midst of the event. Lawhon has created a wonderfully creative version of the possible journey the crew and passengers experienced before the catastrophe occurred. Honestly, after watching the actual news coverage on Youtube it's a miracle there were any survivors. Truly a horrific scene. I loved so many things about this novel that I feel I could go on and on, so I'll leave it at this... take the flight and enjoy the ride. 5 stars.

  • Diane S ☔
    2019-05-15 04:34

    It was considered the flight of dreams the Hindenburg thought to be the cream of Nazi Germanys zeppelin fleet. Yet it ended in disaster. The reason for the explosion has never actually been found and this story imagines the scenarios by which this could have happened.Starts out slowly as we learn the names and jobs of various crew members and passengers. The names used are the actual names that were on the Hindenburg and some of the conversations were taken from official records and other sources. As the zeppelin travels on we see the slow unraveling of plots, hopes, love and dreams. We come to know some of these actual people in sometimes small, sometimes big ways. We also are treated to the food served, rooms on the ship, some of the mechanics and what many of the crew members jobs were. Became particularly attached to Emilie, the first woman attendant on any of the zeppelins and Matt, a young navigated, also Werner a fourteen year old cabin boy. The ending is dramatically told. The book itself is well written giving the reader a glimpse of what it might have been like to either serve or fly on these Zeppelins. The author's afterward gives much information on why she wrote this, her sources and what was true or not. Do not skip that as there is also a link to a blog with much information for those who want to know more.Touched my heart and I applaud the author in giving a voice to the names of actual people, some who made it and some who did not. ARC from publisher.

  • Carol
    2019-05-16 03:38

    FLIGHT OF DREAMS is a work of historical fiction that gives the reader a feel of what it might have been like to travel aboard the Hindenburg in 1937. Imagine a Zeppelin over 16 stories high and 800 feet long powered by hydrogen, an odorless, colorless and tasteless gas that when mixed with oxygen equals a BIG BOOM! Then imagine bomb threats, credible bomb threats that necessitate placing a company military advisor on board. Scary stuff.Ariel Lawhon creates a very descriptive group of passengers, each with a story to tell, suspicious characters floating around with intriguing secrets, and a BIG mystery to solve for the reader of what really happened on May 6, 1937.I really enjoyed this novel and the fact that the author included several real people, events and conversations in the telling and, most importantly, did not change their fate in her fictional account of that disastrous day in history.On the down side, the story was rather slow building and a bit tedious at times, until it reached the last quarter that is, but was still worthy of 4 Stars in my book.

  • Melissa
    2019-04-27 00:50

    Well, I don’t think I have been so thoroughly educated by a book in a long time! I knew absolutely nothing about the Hindenburg disaster before reading this, and now I feel absolutely enlightened, and a little terrified that this could have happened.Based on the actual events of May, 1937 – Although worked into a piece of fiction, the Hindenburg makes its final voyage from Germany to the United states. We all know the outcome, have seen the pictures of the air ship engulfed in flames, crashing to the ground. But Lawhon takes us on an enthralling mystery. Out of the colourful characters on the airship those fateful three days, who was the one to bring it down? Numerous passengers stories intertwine to create a story of intrigue, romance and revenge.I must admit I spent a lot of time on Google and Wikipedia while reading this novel, just to get a better feel for the Hindenburg. The disaster was such a huge event at the time, which has largely been forgotten about, and it was wonderful that this little gem brought the Hindenburg briefly back to life!I loved the research that the author did with this novel. All the characters were real people, even if their stories were fiction for the most part. She states that everyone who died on the ship, died in the novel, which she weaved well into her storyline. Even details such as the movement of the airship and the mechanics were meticulously detailed and fascinating!The only criticisms I have is that it was slightly slow moving in places, and I felt the crash was all over the place, too much going on at once… But of course it was in real life too. It took only 30 seconds for it to hit the ground after it caught alight.The characters were charming and it was even better knowing that they were based on real people. Both the passengers and the crew were fascinating to read about, right up to the final climactic crash and aftermath.Would I recommend Flight of Dreams?Absolutely! Anyone who is a fan of historical fiction, or anyone who has any interest in the Hindenburg will appreciate the information in this book, as well as the exciting storyline.Many thanks to the author and publisher via NetGalley for a copy of Flight of Dreams to read and review.For more reviews check out my

  • Aditi
    2019-05-20 03:37

    “It’s fire and it crashing! . . . This is the worst of the worst catastrophes in the world! Oh, it’s crashing . . . oh, four or five hundred feet into the sky, and it’s a terrific crash, ladies and gentlemen. There’s smoke, and there’s flames, now, and the frame is crashing to the ground, not quite to the mooring mast. Oh, the humanity, and all the passengers screaming around here!. . . I can’t talk, ladies and gentlemen. Honest, it’s just laying there, a mass of smoking wreckage, and everybody can hardly breathe and talk . . . Honest, I can hardly breathe. I’m going to step inside where I cannot see it. . . .”----Herb Morrison, ReporterAriel Lawhon, an American author pens a poignant and enthralling tale based on the world famous Hindenburg disaster that took place on Thursday, May 6, 1937, as the German passenger airship LZ 129 Hindenburg caught fire and was destroyed during its attempt to dock with its mooring mast at Naval Air Station Lakehurst in Manchester Township, New Jersey, United States, in her book called Flight of Dreams: A Novel.Synopsis: On the evening of May 3, 1937, Emilie Imhof boards the Hindenburg. As the only female crew member, Emilie has access to the entire airship, from the lavish dining rooms and passenger suites to the gritty engine cars and control room. She hears everything, but with rumors circulating about bomb threats, Emilie’s focus is on maintaining a professional air…and keeping her own plans under wraps.What Emilie can’t see is that everyone—from the dynamic vaudeville acrobat to the high-standing German officer—seems to be hiding something.Giving free rein to countless theories of sabotage, charade, and mishap, Flight of Dreams takes us on the thrilling three-day transatlantic flight through the alternating perspectives of Emilie; Max, the ship’s navigator who is sweet on her; Gertrud, a bold female journalist who’s been blacklisted in her native Germany; Werner, a thirteen-year-old cabin boy with a bad habit of sneaking up on people; and a brash American who’s never without a drink in his hand. Everyone knows more than they initially let on, and as the novel moves inexorably toward its tragic climax, the question of which of the passengers will survive the trip infuses every scene with a deliciously unbearable tension.The author has fictionalized one of the most dramatic as well as disastrous events of the world, the crashing down of Nazi-German airship, Hindenburg, a Zeppelin, which marked the end of era for airships. The author uses real-life names and incidents from the Hindenburg's record and made her readers once again sympathize for those long forgotten fateful passengers aboard the Nazi German Zeppelin. The author's account of the Hindenburg, its structure, its build and its history, everything has been arrested with great details, that truly brings this dead airship to life through the pages of this book.The book opens with all the passengers going to take a trip on this massive airship from the crew members to the elite class passengers to the worker level crew. The author introduces us with each and every notable character in the beginning and the chapters of the book highlights each day until the explosion. Emilie, the only female stewardess aboard the Hindenburg is traveling with a closed heart and swears that she will not get involved romantically with any of the crew member, but Max, the navigator, is making it really difficult for her to stay focus. Gertrud, a blacklisted journalist with a sharp tongue is sure that the bomb threat is very real. Along with her husband, Leonhard, she launches a secret investigation on the mysterious American man by spying on the conversations. Werner, the youngest member on the airship and a cabin boy is falling for a passenger's daughter, and most of the times he sees and hears things that he shouldn't have. Each and every passenger's dynamic shifts towards the negative as the Hindenburg approaches it's destination. Yes the story gives a complete vibe of Agatha Christie's infamous novel Murder On The Orient Express. The thrill is so real that it gets through the skin and sets in the heart. Although the book opens slow, as there are lots of character introduction, but as the Zeppelin takes flight into the air, the story starts to unravel beaming with puzzling facts and events, that keeps the readers guessing till the end. The author manages to make the readers feel like all the notable characters might hold a personal agenda to destroy the airship. The narrative style is addictive and told from a third person POV for each and every character's perspective. The pacing of the story is medium and there is an air of suspicion hanging around as the airship approaches its destination. The characters are well-developed, though the names used are all real. In short, the story keeps the readers gripped till the very end.Hats off to the author, for turning a real life disaster of the Hindenburg, which in reality never came under any official investigation to detect what caused the fire, into a fascinating as well as deeply touching story and hats off to her for paying tribute to all those long-forgotten survivors.Verdict:A must read thriller that is based on the infamous Hindenburg airship disaster. Courtesy:Thanks to the author, Ariel Lawhon's publicist, for giving me an opportunity to read and review and ARC of the book.

  • Kasia
    2019-04-29 00:31

    I would rather have tooth pulled out without anesthesia than read book like this one ever again.

  • Brenda
    2019-05-11 22:39

    As Emilie Imhof greeted passengers boarding the Hindenburg on May 3rd 1937 she was quietly proud. Emilie was the first woman stewardess to work on the famous zeppelins and had been with this one since its inception. But although the ensuing three days transatlantic flight to New York would be filled with fun, delicious food and entertainment it would also hold secrets, lies and an undercurrent of evil. One person on board had revenge on his mind and was determined the Hindenburg wouldn’t make its return journey under any circumstances.Max the navigator was in love with Emilie; she was determined to keep Max at arm’s length. Which of course wasn’t hard as no fraternising between the staff was allowed. Werner was only fourteen; a cabin boy and happy to have a job because his father was very ill. The receipt of his grandfather’s pocket watch prior to his departure made him happy and proud. Gertrud, a journalist and her husband Leonhard had had to leave their one year old son behind in the care of Gertrud’s mother – her desolation at being apart from him was often acute. And the American kept himself distant from everyone as best he could.As the lives of everyone on board intermingled and entwined, some with a degree of friendliness, some with surliness and aggression, few were aware of the undercurrents running through the Hindenburg. And no one knew what would happen at the end of the flight; no one was aware their lives and future plans were about to change... The disaster which befell the Hindenburg back in 1939 meant this was the last flight of Germany’s zeppelins. Flight of Dreams by Ariel Lawhon is fiction, but from the author’s notes at the end of the book I discovered she used the names of some of the passengers on that fateful flight. Her research has been meticulous and her fictionalised account of what might have happened on board; what might have caused the explosion is filled with suspense, heartbreak and tension. It is utterly enthralling. I thoroughly enjoyed the main characters, especially Werner and Emilie and have no hesitation in highly recommending Flight of Dreams.With thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for this copy to read in exchange for my honest review.

  • Dorie
    2019-05-22 04:47

    What a delightful, insightful, suspenseful and also horrific start to my reading for 2016. I’m writing this review a bit early since the book won’t be published until early February but I just have to share this great book with everyone. I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.The Flight of Dreams is the story of the last flight of the Hindenburg, Nazi Germany’s most advanced airship, a zeppelin, which was as long as an ocean liner (265 meters long) and as tall as a 13 story building. This is historical fiction at it’s very best. The author takes a dramatic story and makes it so human, populating it with the actual crew and passengers who were on board the airship for the 3 days of travel. The attention to detail is meticulous whether describing the Hindenburg’s actual physical properties or the wealthy passengers on board. A ticket for the Hindenburg has been said to cost $400 in 1937, probably comparable to $4,000 today, so it was indeed only the wealthy who could afford it. The novel is told in multiple POV’s and the chapters are divided into sections according to the day of flight (along with the time before the known explosion). They are then further divided by the points of view of some of the main characters, “The Stewardess”, “The Cabin Boy”, “The Navigator”, etc. Even though I knew the outcome the tension still builds from the beginning until the fatal end. The author had to draw upon rather sketchy background details and hints to personalities when describing each character for no biographies were written of the survivors. Each person on board had their own motivations, dreams and reasons for the trip and Ms. Lawhon fleshed out the characters in such a way that I grew to really care about many of the people. The stewardess, Emile Imhoff, has a secret and she and the navigator, Max Zabel become more and more entangled in a romantic relationship which each sees through a different light. Ms. Imhoff is the first female crew member ever allowed on an airship. The cabin boy, Werner Franz, is thrilled to be on board and earning money for his struggling family. He is also intent on learning all that he can from the crew which learn to trust and respect Werner even at his young age. There is an American businessman among the passengers as well as a well known acrobatic performer, Joseph Spah, all contributing to the plot and adding their own fears, hopes and agendas.There are so many wonderful characters and the book is filled with mystery, romance, love, hate and even revenge. This is a must read for any fan of well written historical fiction. I know that I will be “hand selling” this book to everyone that I know.

  • Pamela
    2019-05-10 03:49

    If not for the surprising abundance of expletives uttered by nearly every character, this novel otherwise seemed well written and interestingly composed, with promising intrigue. I just grew weary of the unsavory language, and decided 100 pages was enough. And I have to wonder, did the vast majority of people in 1938, whether working class or upper echelon, American or German, actually curse that frequently and so unabashedly in publicly? Maybe so. But it just seemed out of character for the times, to me.

  • Erika Robuck
    2019-04-29 20:35

    FLIGHT OF DREAMS is a multilayered and fascinating imagining of what could have happened leading up to one of the most famous disasters in history. Research reveals names, charts, and survival stories, but leaves more questions than answers, most notably: was the explosion of the Hindenburg an accident?With Lawhon’s gift for writing memorable characters, sharp dialogue, and enthralling suspense, FLIGHT OF DREAMS becomes an unputdownable epic tragedy. Fans of both mystery and history will enjoy trying to piece together the motivations and actions of the characters, and after finishing the book will search for photographs and video of the Hindenburg and its passengers. I highly recommend FLIGHT OF DREAMS.

  • Cindi
    2019-04-28 21:35

    Everyone knows about the explosion of the Hindenburg. We've seen the old newsreel footage. If you have young sons, you may have watched it multiple times. But what I never realized was just how many people were on board the Hindenburg the night that it was engulfed in flames within seconds. I didn't know that the Hindenburg was a flying hotel, carrying passengers across the Atlantic. I certainly didn't know a thing about those passengers.In Flight of Dreams, Ariel Lawhon takes a historic tragedy and gives faces and stories to the people aboard that fateful day. Emilie Imhoff was famously the only female crew member. Torn between her own plans and her developing feelings for the navigator, Emilie spends the trips assisting passengers and trying to make important personal decisions, while becoming tangled in the plots of the passengers. There are others aboard with their own agendas, including a mysterious American who always manages to be in the parts of the ship where he isn't allowed and a sullen Colonel who was especially worried about leaving his wife behind and seems rather distracted.Set in those tumultuous years before World War II, Flight of Dreams captures all the elements of unrest and nervousness that many felt as the Nazis and Hitler rose to power in Germany. Displaying swastikas of the regime, the Hindenburg was representative of that power. Lawhon gives emotion to those feelings by letting her passengers, many who had their own run-ins and concern with the Nazis, shape their own decisions. She captures the emotions of the time and allows the people aboard the zeppelin to become living, passionate characters.Lawhon's research is immaculate and blends seamlessly with the fictional story she tells within the blanks of the mysterious events leading up to the explosion. Her story is a constant page turner. Though the reader knows what tragedy is coming, it is no less explosive and heart rending. Perhaps it is more so as Lawhon tells of the deaths and escapes and pandemonium of characters that now mean something to the reader. I watched the newsreel footage again after finishing the book and it was a much more emotional experience.Flight of Dreams by Ariel Lawhon is an amazing story that fully presents the history and the people of the Hindenburg in an unforgettable, riveting novel.

  • Kate Quinn
    2019-05-15 04:53

    Really stellar. Suspenseful, tightly plotted, and racheting its way to a merciless climax, "Flight of Dreams" takes a famous historic disaster--the explosion of the Hindenburg--and uses it as a ticking clock to power the novel along as unwitting characters scheme, dawdle, fret, kiss, drink, smoke, and kill time on the great luxury dirigible crossing the Atlantic, as all the while the reader is screaming at them to get off the balloon before it's too late. Chapters swap between a handful of characters all engrossed in their own problems--a stewardess with a secret, a cabin boy struggling to find his way into manhood, a sharp female journalist, an enigmatic American with something sinister up his sleeve--and while usually I can pick up the clues in books like these and figure out in advance who will live and who will die, this time I was blindsided. A terrific read--the only thing I would have liked was an author's note peek into the post-explosion lives of the historical survivors, most of whom would have been headed into the teeth of WWII.

  • Susan Meissner
    2019-05-12 22:36

    Ariel Lawhon, a gifted wordsmith, has imagined the lives of a handful of people who were on the ill-fated Hindenburg on her last flight. Dovetailing actual fact with literary artistry, Ariel focuses the story on a navigator, a stewardess, an American, a cabin boy, and a journalist. Each has secrets they are keeping or will be asked to keep. None of them knows what will happen over New Jersey, minutes before landing and after a seemingly quiet trip across the Atlantic. The prose is wonderful, the details are rich, and the pull of the past is on every page. I love novels that not only transport me to another time and place, but that also teach me about a historical event that deserves to be remembered. Well done.

  • Anna
    2019-05-10 20:41

    I used to say that although I am a history buff, the WWII period wouldn't be one of my particular eras of choice to read about. Somewhat accidentally, I've found that many of my favorite reads so far this year have been set in or around that time period - guess I do like it after all! You learn something new about yourself all the time."Flight of Dreams" is a historical fiction novel about the Hindenburg Zeppelin disaster. I loved so much about it but one of the things I loved the most is that it is one of the most historical historical fiction novels I've ever read. Author Ariel Lawhon does her best to stay true to actual events: the characters are all actual people who were on the Hindenburg, with the names unchanged. She also kept their fates the same: if they survived in real life, they survived in the book; if they perished in real life, they perished in the book as well. Lawhon's fiction enters into the picture with the conversations and relationships between characters of course, but also in that she presents a theory as to why the Hindenburg explosion happened - it's a genuine mystery to this day, but Lawhon's explanation is both creative and gripping. I connected with and grew to love many of her characters, and even the despicable ones were very well-drawn. Her prose is so detail-rich and satisfying that I was sucked in immediately and felt like I was reading some huge epic rather than a 311-pager. I also enjoyed the format of the narrative - told from the perspective of five different characters on board the Hindenburg: The Stewardess, the Navigator, the Journalist, the Cabin Boy, and the mysterious American. It reminded me a lot of a YA novel I read recently, Ruta Sepetys' "Salt to the Sea", a book set in the same WWII disaster vein and in the same multiple character POV narrative, but "Flight of Dreams" registers as for adults rather than as YA. It also gave me reminiscences of the movie "Titanic" (one of my favorites), as the first 2/3 of the book is very much life on board ship/establishing character motives and relationships/luxury journey, and then BAM! disaster strikes on our unsuspecting passengers.I would recommend this book to anyone interested in life during the WWII time period, historical fiction centering on famous disasters, or anyone who just wants to read something with an engaging plot and wonderful characters. I went in a bit skeptical, but I definitely came out in love.

  • Kevin
    2019-05-16 03:28

    Lawhon brings the fateful trip of the Hindenburg to life.

  • Marjorie
    2019-05-17 00:52

    While we most likely will never know exactly why the Hindenburg disaster occurred, Ms. Lawhon has given us a fascinating and exciting theory. From what I’ve read about the Hindenburg, it’s quite a plausible theory, too. Sure, it’s mostly fiction but the characters are all based on the real people aboard the Hindenburg. And while she’s completely fabricated stories around these characters, parts of those stories are based on true facts. The author talks about that at the end of the book and refers her readers to for fact-based biographies of each of the passengers and crew on that ill-fated flight.The book reminded me of “The Titanic” movie in that the author draws you into her characters’ lives, causing you to care more and more about them, all the while knowing what is about to happen. The suspenseful part is that, unless you’re an expert on the Hindenburg, you don’t know who survives and who doesn’t. Similar to “The Titanic”, a large part of the story revolves around the love story between The Navigator, Max Zabel, and The Stewardess, Emilie Imhof. Each chapter is entitled with the role that the particular character is playing, such as “The Navigator”, “The Stewardess”, “The Cabin Boy” or “The American”, which makes it very easy to become familiar with each of the characters.The author also includes fascinating glimpses into the German background of the Hindenburg and Hitler’s use of it in his propaganda efforts.The book covers the four days of the flight and adds tension by starting each day off as how many days, hours and minutes until the explosion is left. As the disaster looms closer, the countdown is shown more often and the chapters begin to get shorter and shorter as you race along, with your heart in your throat, to the inevitable ending.I felt that the author did an excellent job with character development and setting up the intricate plot. This is one of the most suspenseful historical novels I’ve ever read and I enjoyed it very much.This book was given to me by the publisher through NetGalley and Edelweiss in return for an honest review.

  • Kathryn
    2019-05-26 21:52

    4.5 stars. Before taking up Flight of Dreams by Ariel Lawhon, I knew very little about the Hindenburg disaster, I was just vaguely aware of it. As I read into this work of fiction I became fascinated by it. I even explored an internet site that Ariel mentions at the back of her book, and know I will go back to it. I am not that much interested in non-fiction, but sometimes a work of fiction sparks off a new awareness and quest for more.The names of the characters are those of the actual travellers on the Hindenburg. As Ariel points out the survivors said not much happened on the trip. However she picks up from there and writes a fascinating and page turning view of what might have been. How the Hindenburg became engulfed in flames is a mystery as yet unsolved. Even back in those times - 1937 - bomb threats were a worry and the crew were aware and cautious.Ariel Lawhon takes this event and these people and makes it accessible to me - the reader. As the story rotates among a number of characters, slowly I as the reader, build a picture of them. Their hopes, griefs, jealousies, and longings. I witness the crew and staff as they interact with kindness, blackmail, duty, subterfuge and revenge. I come to care for these characters and through them the actual people who travelled that fated time. This book has been well researched, I learned things about the airships that I did not know, all thanks to this research. What an amazing feat of technology. How amazing to have travelled in this way. As I said I knew very little about the Hindenburg before I started reading this novel. I had heard of its demise, but that is all. I had assumed there were no survivors. Amazingly there were. Many of the actual real survivors went on to live long lives.If you like historical fiction, fiction based on real events then this is for you. Or... perhaps you are like me - very vague about this event and time. Yes, most definitely this book is for you.

  • Julie
    2019-05-19 02:48

    I can't imagine floating in the air on a ship that runs on air but what a marvel. Also a marvel is Ariel Lawhon's fictionalized tale of this historical disaster.We all know the flight ended in disaster but it is what occurred in the confined space with the people that was explored here. I loved the intrigue and the mystery of it all.

  • Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews
    2019-05-05 22:42

    ​Could anyone have secrets on the Hindenburg with its size and carefully patrolled space?It appeared that everyone had a personal secret, but one of the public secrets was the worry about a bomb threat.The passengers had heard of a bomb threat, but it was down played.Emilie, Max, Werner, Edward, and Leonhard and Getrude Adelt are the main storytellers. Emilie was the only female on board, Max was the navigator, Werner was the cabin boy, Edward was an American, and the Adelts are journalists. FLIGHT OF DREAMS tells of the three-day flight of the Hindenburg and its fire on the third day as it neared its landing spot of Lakehurst, New Jersey.We follow the days and nights of the passengers as the Hindenburg makes it way across the ocean at 600 feet and as it drops to 200 feet to make a mail drop in Cologne before heading out to the ocean.Ms. Lawhon takes us into the private as well as public lives of the passengers and makes the three-day trip across the Atlantic both technical and personal. The skillful way Ms. Lawhon wove the personal stories of the characters with the technical aspect of the Hindenburg made FLIGHT OF DREAMS a captivating, intriguing, mysterious read.Ms. Lawhon did marvelous research for her book​,​ and the passengers were an interesting group.I enjoyed Emilie and Max's connection and their love story.Werner was my favorite simply because he was so young, so happy to be a crew member, and such a hard worker.Edward, the American, seemed to be causing the most grief and seemed to be a bit evil. The Adelts were an interesting couple simply because of their curiosity and wanting to find out facts like every good journalist does.It was fascinating to me how the Hindenburg actually stayed in flight. It is a piece of history I had ​known of but never knew much about. I learned quite a bit about the Hindenburg from Ms. Lawhon's marvelous book and wanted to learn more. I found plenty of information about the Hindenburg itself, the flight, the crew, its passengers, and the crash.Could one of the passengers purposely have caused the crash or was it a mechanical malfunction? Did historians really know what happened?History buffs should definitely read FLIGHT OF DREAMS. 5/5​This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

  • Joaquin Garza
    2019-04-29 22:45

    Llamar Primera Guerra Mundial a la Primera Guerra Mundial en un libro ambientado en 1937 debería descalificarte en automático para escribir una novela histórica.

  • Colleen Turner
    2019-05-08 00:54

    Find my full review at Flight of Dreams, author Ariel Lawhon takes readers on board the ill-fated final flight of the Hindenburg, from boarding in Germany on May 3rd, 1937, through the conspiracy-laced flight, front and center for the horrific and grisly explosion on May 6th and into the immediate days and months to follow. During this short yet dramatic and fascinating timeline, we get to see events unfold through the eyes of five people on-board: the stewardess, Emilie, the only female crew member; the journalist, Gertrud Adelt; the navigator, Max; the cabin boy, Werner Franz; and the American, who we never learn the name of. Every single one of these characters, and many more, are hiding parts of themselves as well as, in some cases, their real reasons for being on-board the Hindenburg, and as their secrets slowly begin to unfold it becomes a race against time to see who will die and who will survive when the twisted metal wreckage of the Hindenburg finally stops smoldering.I have to admit that I knew nothing about the Hindenburg explosion, other than the black and white footage of the wreck and the grainy photos most of us have seen, before reading Flight of Dreams. Lawhon does an impeccable job of describing every aspect of the Hindenburg – from the foam and fabric-covered walls to the metal catwalks to the geography of its halls – with such precision that I felt like I was walking it with the characters. The detail given to the layout of the rooms and to the delicious dinner menus added such richness to the story that I couldn’t imagine it any other way…I was on the Hindenburg and it was a sight to behold! But don’t think for a minute that the story is driven solely from its descriptive power. The characters – all of who were real people! – and their various games of subterfuge, kept me turning the pages so I could discover exactly what they were all up to.Each character’s story is interspersed with the others, changing every few pages so the reader gets to see the same situation or period of time from multiple perspectives. It is also written in the present tense which, for me, really worked to add a sense of immediacy and urgent suspense that I found absolutely delicious. None of these characters are who they first appear to be and by the end I found myself anxious to see how their stories would resolve, some of which were happy endings and some of which were devastating. Reading the Author’s Note at the end lets the reader know that Lawhon stuck to the facts when it came to who lived and who died, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t wish for a different outcome. She breathed such life and heart into these characters that I wanted happy endings for some of the ones that didn’t get to have them in real life.Flight of Dreams is a spectacular work of historical fiction as well as a whodunnit of the highest order. It accomplishes just what I like most in this sort of story: it stayed true to many of the known facts while filling in the missing pieces with complex emotions, entangled motivations and touches of humanity that are typically lost to the historical record. There is revenge, romance, coming-of-age and a myriad of other story threads to appreciate here that I can imagine any reader finding something to enjoy within its pages. I highly recommend this to any reader, regardless of their genre preferences.

  • Sarah
    2019-05-10 04:47

    It took me awhile to get into this book; we’re talking days to weeks to really get drawn in. I think it was the multitude of POVs. That took some getting used to. There also aspects of some of the relationships that seemed very sudden and overly melodramatic. Nothing will turn me off faster than melodrama. So why the five star rating you ask?Let’s just say that after I finished, I had to take a moment to ponder the wonder I had just finished. The author is able to pull all those POVs into a cohesive whole, bringing to life one of the biggest unknown tragedies in history. I’ve met people today who have never heard of the Hindenburg; long less explored all its implications and human drama. I’m glad the author decided to explore this story.I have to give kudos to the research that went into this book. The author brings the ship to life mechanically, to start with. Through various crew member POVs, we get to see how the ship was built, how it operated, the involved command structure, and how the very nature of the ship itself led to its doom.She also pays as much attention to the personalities of the people involved. As the author’s notes mention, there aren’t any big biographies or works devoted to the people involved in the Hindenburg. She had to rely on sketchy background details and hints to personalities. I also really enjoyed the fact that Lawhon didn’t alter any fates; everyone who died, died or everyone who survived, survived in the book. Every character is a real person who was really there.Lawhon takes the little known tidbits and creates characters as grand and vivid as the ship they flew in. Every single POV was rich with motivations, aspirations, dreams, and thoughts. I actually grew to love and enjoy the various POVS, making it an asset by book’s end rather than a liability that it was in the beginning.All that melodrama and relationship stuff that was originally a burden actually turned into quite an asset. As the tension grew and grew closer to ship’s destruction, all those relationship woes turned into painful, tragic yet beautiful reminders of human life and existence as fire rained from the heavens. I think I got drawn into the lives of these characters more than I originally anticipated as by book’s end, I was actually crying.The author has created a true gem of historical fiction in this work. She takes a dramatic story and makes it very human. By breathing life into little known people she does what historical fiction should do, bringing the past to life and making it very relatable to a modern audience. I loved her attention to detail; it paid off immensely in the emotional impact at book’s end. So I can’t recommend this book highly enough. It’s a true treasure of historical fiction and I look forward to exploring more by this author.Note: Book received for free from publisher via NetGalley in exchange for honest review.

  • Kalen
    2019-05-01 20:44

    This is another novel of a fictionalized account of an actual event--and I love those. This one is, perhaps, more imagined than most and Lawhon explains at the end of the book what was real and what wasn't. One thing I loved about Flight of Dreams is that it made me want to know more--I kept Googling Hindenburg floor plans and other information about the ship and its passengers.

  • Plethora
    2019-05-12 21:48

    Mrs. Lawhon does a spectacular job detailing the possible last three days on the ill-fated flight of the Hindenburg. All that is certainly known about the historical flight doomed on May 6, 1937 is that a fire broke out. The exact cause of this fire is still an unknown mystery that is filled with many theories, running the gambit from sabotage to lightning to mechanical failure. What I find so amazing about the disaster, was the amazing survival rate. As you see the images from that day it is hard to believe that 2/3rds of the people on board survived the day. Enjoy a cast of characters that really did fly aboard the airship, either as a crew member or a passenger.The Hindenburg, Germany’s answer to regular fast and comfortable service between Europe and North America. This massive airship was almost as long as the Titanic, another traveling disaster, perhaps bigger isn’t always better. One can’t overlook the Nazi influence, the regime financially supported the construction and used the airship for propaganda, one couldn’t miss the large swastika symbols emblazoned on the tail fins. This wasn’t overlooked in Flight of Dreams, and adds to the realism. Many of the passengers and crew members that we meet have intriguing secrets. These secrets drive their movements throughout these three days as they speed over the Atlantic towards New Jersey. I really enjoyed Werner, the young thirteen-year-old cabin boy that knew when to keep his head down and when to take advantage of an opportunity when it presented itself. We also meet Max, the meticulous ship's navigator that looses his thoughts when he thinks of Emilie, the female stewardess he has his heart set on. Emilie is a strong hard working woman with a dark secret that she can’t risk anyone finding out. The trick with this novel is taking a story that everyone knows the end of making you want to read it. Mrs. Lawhon did that here, I wanted to know how each of these characters was going to interact and push the story along to its conclusion. What hand, if any, would they play in the fiery inferno that ends this three-day voyage. FTC disclosure: I received this book for free by winning a pre-release drawing in the Keep Turning Pages Goodreads group via Doubleday / Penguin Random House. I was not financially compensated by the publisher or the author, nor was I required to give a favorable review.

  • Book Haunt
    2019-05-07 22:42

    We've all seen the footage of the Hindenburg as it erupted into flames in May 1937. In Flight of Dreams, we are taken on that final flight and introduced to the crew and passengers who were aboard the German flight. The story is told from several POVs; the stewardess, the journalist, the American, the cabin boy, the navigator. As the Nazi party approaches it's pinnacle, the flight of the Hindenburg is a source of German pride, but there are rumors of sabotage and not everyone on board is who they seem to be. Emotions are high and secrets abound!While the cause of the explosion is still a mystery to this day, sabotage is among the many theories that exist. Ariel Lawhon has done a superb job researching the Hindenburg disaster. She's taken us on an inside journey and created a lovely piece of historical fiction. The characters are based on their real-life counterparts and they are each captivating and mysterious. Even though I had seen that fiery footage over and over, I had never heard much about the people on board. The author has given us characters with real feelings and struggles. It's these outlines of the human heart that truly make us grieve those people on board. It's a story of love, hope, espionage and adventure that we know is doomed to end in tragedy, making it all the more touching and unforgettable. Highly recommended!I want to thank the publisher (Doubleday Books) for providing me with the ARC through Netgalley for an honest review.

  • Nissa
    2019-05-10 01:27

    First of all I would like to thank Keep Turning Pages and Doubleday for giving me the opportunity to read Flight of Dreams.I have always had a fascination with the accident of the airship Hindenburg, so I was so happy to get an advance copy of the book. The Hindenburg disaster took place on Thursday, May 6, 1937, as the German passenger airship LZ 129 Hindenburg caught fire and was destroyed during its attempt to dock with its mooring mast at Naval Air Station Lakehurst in Manchester Township, New Jersey, United States. Of the 97 people on board (36 passengers and 61 crewmen), there were 35 fatalities (13 passengers and 22 crewmen). One worker on the ground was also killed, making a total of 36 fatalities.This is an extremely interesting and enjoyable read. It is a fictitious retelling of one of history's worst disasters and the story is told though the eyes of Emilie, one of the female crew members. The book is suspenseful and dramatic and Lawhon does a great job combining fact and fiction together. I would recommend the book to people who enjoy history.

  • Lisa B.
    2019-05-17 01:35

    In the author's notes, Ms. Lawhorn explains that the story she has written involves people who really where on the Hindenburg during it's last flight before tragically catching on fire. She used their actual names and occupations. In some instances, incorporated actual, documented conversations. She did extensive research, but makes it clear that her story is still fiction.I thought this concept was very smart. Her writing felt very personal, almost as if she knew each character herself. From beginning to end, this was a captivating read.I've read Ms. Lawson's other books and am not surprised that I found this one so enjoyable. My thanks to Doubleday Books for allowing me to read this in exchange for an unbiased review.

  • Ladyslott
    2019-04-27 21:36

    The Hindenburg was Nazi Germany’s premier air ship. On May 3, 1937 the ship left Germany for America, expecting to arrive three days later at Lakehurst, New Jersey. Upon it’s arrival the land crew began to moor the ship when it exploded. Thirty six people, lost their lives in the disaster. Although there are many theories as to what caused the Hindenburg to explode none have been positively found to be the cause. This book is the author’s fictional account of what may have been the cause; sabotage by someone traveling on the ship.I never gave much thought to what a zeppelin would have been like to travel in. I thought it was a glorified airplane. In fact it was more like a cruise ship with private staterooms, dining rooms, bars, solariums, reading rooms etc. Lawhon does a great job in setting the scene on the ship and has us guessing throughout a good portion of the book as to who is the saboteur and what the reason for this act was. She did a great deal of research, using many of the actual persons that were aboard the ship to put forth her storyline. I found the book a bit slow at the start and some of the writing - especially the love scenes - to be a little clunky, but soon I was wrapped up in the story, trying to figure out who the bad guy (or woman) was, and also hoping some of my favorites would survive the impending disaster. I enjoyed this book and found myself Googling both the disaster, the theories and the real people who were on the flight. I recommend the book for those who like historical fiction, disaster stories and also love stories since there are two that are central to the book. The author has two other books, one about the Hope Diamond and the other about the disappearance of Judge Crater; I hope to get to those books in the near future.