Flight of Dreams
by Ariel Lawhon
Doubleday Books, Feb 2016
ARC e-Reader (978-0-385-54003-2)
Hardcover: 222 pages (978-0-385-54002-5)
Genre: Adult/ Historical Fiction
An advance reader copy was provided free of charge
by Doubleday Books through NetGalley
in exchange for my honest opinion.
“Oh, the humanity.”
On May 6, 1937, a lavishly outfitted Zeppelin, the Hindenburg ended its 3-day journey from Frankfurt, Germany to the Naval Air Station at Lakehurst, New Jersey. The disastrous conclusion of this flight is well known. What is not well known is what occurred on the Hindenburg throughout its journey across the Atlantic. The cause of the fire that destroyed the airship is unknown and many scenarios laid out but none can be proved.
The author has tossed out her idea of what happened and takes us along on the journey to that inevitable end. Most amazing was the author’s knowledge of the Hindenburg itself! The attention to detail brings each scene to life.
Lawhon has placed the passengers and crew back on the Hindenburg in Frankfurt and created a fictionalized account of their daily lives over the three-day flight. The story focuses on the Stewardess, Emilie, the Journalists, Gertrud and Leonhard Adelt, the Navigator, Max, the American, mysterious and unnamed, and the cabin boy, Werner Franz. Other secondary stories of real people are channeled through the story bringing the Hindenburg alive much like James Cammeron’s, The Titanic.
The story is narrated in the third person and sprinkles known facts throughout each chapter. For example, Werner Franz, the 13-year cabin boy, was known to have received his grandfather’s watch and had it with him on the flight.
Each chapter drops us into a current conversation or situation that leads to further and further intrigue and innuendo. Everyone has a secret, a hidden agenda or a blind eye. Along the way you will learn to love, despise, pity, respect and understand the humanity aboard the fated airship. And like every well written mystery, a startling conclusion.
Don’t fail to read the author’s note at the end of the story. Fascinating and informational.