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Flight of Dreams: A Novel Paperback – January 10, 2017
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“An enthralling nail-biter.” —People
“We are introduced to a carousel of suspicious characters . . . so as the zeppelin cruises serenely through the clouds, the earthbound reader ricochets from distrust to uncertainty to outright foreboding. At every page a guilty secret bobs up; at every page Lawhon keeps us guessing. Who will bring down the Hindenburg? And how?” —The New York Times Book Review
“A fascinating blend of love and murder, big dreams and betrayal, history and pure imagination—I could not put it down.” —Sara Gruen, author of Water for Elephants
“An Agatha Christie–style page-turner. . . . Suspenseful and fun.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Rich with historical detail and spiked with plenty of surprises.” —Shelf Awareness
“Mystery, romance—it is all here, told in a mesmerizing tale.” —Kate Alcott, New York Times bestselling author of The Dressmaker
“Flight of Dreams may be viewed as a Titanic of the skies. Lawhon’s novel, however, needs no such comparison. It has ample emotional fuel to sail on its own, even knowing its spectacular end.” —Associated Press
“A magnificent, tour-de-force story, Flight of Dreams will break your heart and satisfy every conspiracy theorist who’s wondered what really happened to the Hindenburg. Simply spectacular. . . . Lawhon has written the book of the year. She’s a writer to watch—now, and for many years to come.” —J.T. Ellison, author of What Lies Behind
“Difficult to put down.” —BookPage
“A spectacular page-turner of class and distinction. Intricately plotted and deftly characterized, this beautifully written novel is wonderfully satisfying—historical fiction at its best.” —Alex George, author of A Good American
“It’s a sign of an extremely talented writer who can take a story that’s been told before and tell it in a completely new imaginative way that is so compelling and exciting.”
—Charles Belfoure, author of The Paris Architect
“[A] wonderfully suspenseful, heart-wrenching account. . . . [Lawhon’s] vision for the journey and the cause of the explosion is masterful.” —The Free Lance-Star (Fredericksburg, VA)
"Historical fiction at its best.” —Acadian Lifestyle Magazine
“Lawhon once again reimagines a front-page news event, filling in the entertaining backstory with passion, secrets, and nail-biting suspense.” —Publishers Weekly
“The clever banter, elaborate plot twists, and period detail will be appreciated by lovers of historical fiction. Readers of Melanie Benjamin’s The Aviator's Wife or Nancy Horan’s Under the Wide and Starry Sky should find this entertaining.” —Library Journal
About the Author
Ariel Lawhon is the author of The Wife, the Maid, and the Mistress and cofounder of the popular Web site SheReads.org. She lives in the rolling hills outside Nashville, Tennessee, with her husband, four sons, and black Lab—who is, thankfully, a girl.
Top customer reviews
The reader knows before opening the book how the airship Hindenburg’s voyage ends. But Lawhorn imagineers the details of the trip, the personal stories of the passengers, the political intrigue, and the chaos of an exploding fireball where all victims become instantly involved. What caused the explosion and why did it occur? She has a theory that seems perfectly feasible.
Her characters are based on the actual passengers and crewmembers. Some things she reports actually happened, but most did not. Relying on little known biographical details, the author weaves together a narrative that soars with believability and fascinating plotlines. By focusing on individual personalities, namely those of the stewardess, navigator, cabin boy, journalist, and an enigmatic American, Lawhorn recreates a story that comes across as all too true as it entertains.
At first I was somewhat distracted by a dialogue that seemed awkward and strained. But it grew on me. Intended or not, the author displays a world of Germans speaking to other Germans in their native language while she reports their conversations in English to her readers. I came to realize that the effect might seem strange but probably provides an accurate inflection of how conversations might have sounded.
I can recommend this book with enthusiasm and a conviction that it will be enjoyed. Ariel Lawhorn is a star that is emerging in the crowded galaxy of contemporary writers who can generate believable historical fiction.
Schuyler T Wallace
Author of TIN LIZARD TALES
Lawhon relies heavily on her characters to tell the story. Among them are a stewardess who is hiding a secret, a navigator who is in love with the stewardess but also has secrets of his own, a fourteen-year-old cabin boy who is earning money for his parents back in Germany, a journalist who has been exposed in her native country, and a mysterious American who's actions may, in the end, determine those of everyone on board.
The development of the characters and the telling of the story is very good. Each character is somehow involved with all of the others in one way or another, and the reader gets a full sense of what the voyage was actually like. Lawhon's description of the Hindenburg itself is vividly told, and her story builds in crescendo throughout. The characters in the book are the same as the actual people who were on board the Hindenburg on that fateful day in May, 1937. Lawhon's tireless research on the subject shows in the story she has written. If you're a fan of historical fiction or the Hindenburg, then don't miss "Flight of Dreams". Highly recommended.
The author also debunks the popular explanation of the explosion, and the reader can believe there are more avenues to explore. The author's real villain is revealed as a surprise toward the end,
The author too often referred to characters as the American, the Navigator and the Stewardess. It was hard to get to know these people. Names were, however, confusing when some had the same first name. This is unavoidable when we write abut real people, but I often had to stop reading and figure out who was whom.
Still a good read.