Review: Flight of Dreams by Ariel Lawhon

Title: Flight of Dreams
Author: Ariel Lawhon
Publisher: Doubleday
Publication Date: February 23, 2016
ISBN: 9780385540032
Number of Pages: 
How I Got It: from author 
Format: paperback ARC
Author's Description:
FLIGHT OF DREAMS is an utterly suspenseful, heart-wrenching novel that vividly brings the fateful voyage of the Hindenburg to life. 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 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.

My Review:
In 2014 I reviewed The Wife, the Maid, and the Mistress and was extremely impressed with Ariel Lawhon's storytelling skills. I anxiously anticipated her second release and crossed my fingers that it would be as good as her first. Boy, do I love it when I'm right! I was so tired of figuring every "mystery" out in all the recent thrillers I'd read. In Flight of Dreams, just like in TWTMTM, I had to work for my clues and I loved every minute of it. I was pleasantly stumped several times. Knowing the outcome of the Hindenburg's flight and Lawhon's use of a countdown to explosion to preface sections of the novel, a reader is frantically racing the clock. "One more chapter and I'll put this down" you say? Yeah, good luck with that. Told from alternating points of view, a reader sees these few days from the eyes of Emile the stewardess, Gertrud the journalist, Max the navigator, Werner the cabin boy, and "The American." Lawhon's attention to detail was fascinatingly exquisite. I never knew how much I wanted to know about what the guests had been served to eat on the Hindenburg, how they bathed, or that they smoked...SMOKED IN A GAS FILLED BALLOON!! Due to my extreme boredom in almost every history class I have ever taken, I didn't know the correlation between Hitler and the Hindenburg, nor had I thought about who exactly would have been allowed or chosen to participate in its flight. As in TWTMTM, Lawhon has once again given me an inside look at an historical event that wouldn't have stood out to me on first observance, but now, through her creative vision, has me looking for conspiracies around every corner. 

About the Author: Ariel Lawhon is co-founder of the popular online book club, She, a novelist, blogger, and life-long reader. She lives in the rolling hills outside Nashville, Tennessee with her husband and four young sons. She is the author of THE WIFE, THE MAID, AND THE MISTRESS (2014) and HINDENBURG (2016) both published by Doubleday. Ariel believes that Story is the shortest distance to the human heart.

***Disclaimer:: I was given a copy of this release in exchange for an honest review. I received no additional compensation. ***


Pat @ Posting For Now said...

Great review! /i enjoyed this novel too. (My review will be posted later this month.)

Carmen said...

Wow, Rhiannon, after your review I so want to read this book!

Judy Krueger said...

I agree with Carmen! I also agree with you that fiction is a good way to learn history. I think that is because you learn it through the characters that lived it.

Elizabeth said...

Terrific review.

I loved The Wife, The Maid, and The Mistress.

Flight of Dreams was very well done.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

My review is below if you want to stop by.

Have a great evening.