STARRED REVIEW
March 2016

On board the doomed voyage of the Hindenburg

By Ariel Lawhon
A day in anyone’s life can seem ordinary. But when those moments are taken together, and especially when they intersect with the lives of others, a bigger story emerges.That’s evident from the early pages of Flight of Dreams by Ariel Lawhon, a novel in which the author poses a theory for what could have brought down the famed German airship Hindenburg.
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A day in anyone’s life can seem ordinary. But when those moments are taken together, and especially when they intersect with the lives of others, a bigger story emerges.That’s evident from the early pages of Flight of Dreams by Ariel Lawhon, a novel in which the author poses a theory for what could have brought down the famed German airship Hindenburg

Even a reader without a firm grasp on history knows the ship is doomed. But what happened on board to create the fiery blast that destroyed the ship and dozens of lives in only 34 seconds? After all, as was recorded in the disaster’s investigation and newspapers, it was an uneventful flight.

Through the perspectives of passengers and crew members, Lawhon deftly draws readers into the lives of the cabin boy, the navigator and the stewardess. The latter two are romantically entangled, hiding their involvement from the rest of the crew even as the lovesick navigator and the widowed stewardess work out what’s ahead for their relationship. Then there are the passengers, including a mysterious American and a curious journalist. As each shares his or her insight into the others around them, an explanation for the ship’s ultimate demise begins to come into focus.

As with her debut novel, The Wife, the Maid, and the Mistress, Lawhon uses real-life people and their stories, drawing from what is known about the ship’s passengers and crew to construct believable characters. Flight of Dreams melds historical fiction, a touch of romance and mystery to create a tale that becomes more difficult to put down as the disaster draws near.

 

This article was originally published in the March 2016 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

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Flight of Dreams

Flight of Dreams

By Ariel Lawhon
Doubleday
ISBN 9780385540025

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