Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Flight of Dreams - Book Review


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.

Flight of Dreams by Ariel Lawhon was published by Doubleday and released on February 23, 2016.

**I received a complimentary copy of Flight of Dreams. All opinions are my own. No compensation was received.**

4 comments:

Mary (Bookfan) said...

This is the second review I've read today for this book - both favorable. What an interesting event to write about!

Booklogged said...

You wrote a thoughtful and interesting review. I sat down to write might and just couldn't find the words so I haven't written it yet. Sometimes it's so easy to write a review and other times my head goes completely empty.

Kristopher Dukes said...

I had no idea it was a floating hotel! That alone is intriguing enough for me to want to read the book. It also explains why in science fiction written before WWII blimps were often the transportation of the imagined future . . .

Kristopher Dukes said...

I had no idea it was a floating hotel! That alone is intriguing enough for me to want to read the book. It also explains why in science fiction written before WWII blimps were often the transportation of the imagined future . . .