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Flight of Dreams

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3.82  ·  Rating details ·  4,419 ratings  ·  798 reviews


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 blacklist
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ebook, 336 pages
Published February 23rd 2016 by Doubleday (first published February 16th 2016)
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Ariel Great question! While animals were allowed on the airship, I found only three instances where passengers actually brought them. The first was a woman…moreGreat question! While animals were allowed on the airship, I found only three instances where passengers actually brought them. The first was a woman who traveled with a small lap dog. Because of its size it was allowed to stay in her cabin and she cared for it herself. The second instance is the one recorded in FLIGHT OF DREAMS. Two dogs were transported on the last flight of the Hindenburg but history has only recorded one of the owners: Joseph Spah. A number of documents mention that he cared for the dog himself and often went into the belly of the ship to feed and walk Ulla. The second dog, however, remains a mystery. We don't know its name or its owner. That said, a number of biographies tells us that Werner Franz, the cabin boy, cared for the dog during the duration of the trip. The fictional events in my novel were created as a result of that research. Hope that helps!(less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.82  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,419 ratings  ·  798 reviews


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Angela M
Aug 28, 2015 rated it really liked it

When reading historical fiction , it's easy for the reader to feel like we have a heads up on the characters since we know what's going to happen and in this case we knew what but really never knew what actually caused the explosion of the Hindenburg . Ariel Lawhon has cleverly provided a fictional account of one possible scenario. In her notes at the end , she expresses her belief that this could not have been an uneventful journey as has been described by a survivor and imagines the lives of s
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Elyse (retired from reviewing/semi hiatus) Walters
*Awesome* blimp blitz suspense...but NO WAY....did it happen as Lawhon imagined... but GREAT NOVEL!!! The 'real' YouTube footage is unreal... it's hard to believe anyone survived it!!!
Lori
Jan 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Like most people I knew that the Hindenburg was a gigantic "blimp" that exploded, but past that I knew nothing. The challenge authors face when writing about actual historical events is that most readers know how it will end; the challenge lies in putting the pieces together in a way that puts the reader there... in the midst of the event. Lawhon has created a wonderfully creative version of the possible journey the crew and passengers experienced before the catastrophe occurred. Honestly, after ...more
Diane S ☔
Aug 13, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was considered the flight of dreams the Hindenburg thought to be the cream of Nazi Germanys zeppelin fleet. Yet it ended in disaster. The reason for the explosion has never actually been found and this story imagines the scenarios by which this could have happened.

Starts out slowly as we learn the names and jobs of various crew members and passengers. The names used are the actual names that were on the Hindenburg and some of the conversations were taken from official records and
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Carol
FLIGHT OF DREAMS is a work of historical fiction that gives the reader a feel of what it might have been like to travel aboard the Hindenburg in 1937. Imagine a Zeppelin over 16 stories high and 800 feet long powered by hydrogen, an odorless, colorless and tasteless gas that when mixed with oxygen equals a BIG BOOM! Then imagine bomb threats, credible bomb threats that necessitate placing a company military advisor on board. Scary stuff.

Ariel Lawhon creates a very descriptive group of passengers, each with a story to tstuff.

Ariel
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Melissa (Mel’s Bookshelf)
Feb 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
Well, I don’t think I have been so thoroughly educated by a book in a long time! I knew absolutely nothing about the Hindenburg disaster before reading this, and now I feel absolutely enlightened, and a little terrified that this could have happened.

Based on the actual events of May, 1937 – Although worked into a piece of fiction, the Hindenburg makes its final voyage from Germany to the United states. We all know the outcome, have seen the pictures of the air ship engulfed in flames
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Aditi
“It’s fire and it crashing! . . . This is the worst of the worst catastrophes in the world! Oh, it’s crashing . . . oh, four or five hundred feet into the sky, and it’s a terrific crash, ladies and gentlemen. There’s smoke, and there’s flames, now, and the frame is crashing to the ground, not quite to the mooring mast. Oh, the humanity, and all the passengers screaming around here!
. . . I can’t talk, ladies and gentlemen. Honest, it’s just laying there, a mass of smoking wreckage, and eve
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Kasia
I would rather have tooth pulled out without anesthesia than read book like this one ever again.
Pamela
If not for the surprising abundance of expletives uttered by nearly every character, this novel otherwise seemed well written and interestingly composed, with promising intrigue. I just grew weary of the unsavory language, and decided 100 pages was enough.

And I have to wonder, did the vast majority of people in 1938, whether working class or upper echelon, American or German, actually curse that frequently and so unabashedly in publicly? Maybe so. But it just seemed out of character for the tim
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Dorie  - Cats&Books :)
Dec 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
What a delightful, insightful, suspenseful and also horrific start to my reading for 2016. I’m writing this review a bit early since the book won’t be published until early February but I just have to share this great book with everyone. I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Flight of Dreams is the story of the last flight of the Hindenburg, Nazi Germany’s most advanced airship, a zeppelin, which was as long as an ocean liner (265 meters l
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Brenda
As Emilie Imhof greeted passengers boarding the Hindenburg on May 3rd 1937 she was quietly proud. Emilie was the first woman stewardess to work on the famous zeppelins and had been with this one since its inception. But although the ensuing three days transatlantic flight to New York would be filled with fun, delicious food and entertainment it would also hold secrets, lies and an undercurrent of evil. One person on board had revenge on his mind and was determined the Hindenburg wouldn’t make it ...more
Erika Robuck
Sep 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
FLIGHT OF DREAMS is a multilayered and fascinating imagining of what could have happened leading up to one of the most famous disasters in history. Research reveals names, charts, and survival stories, but leaves more questions than answers, most notably: was the explosion of the Hindenburg an accident?

With Lawhon’s gift for writing memorable characters, sharp dialogue, and enthralling suspense, FLIGHT OF DREAMS becomes an unputdownable epic tragedy. Fans of both mystery and history
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Cindi
Feb 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016
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 hist
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Susan Meissner
Feb 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ariel Lawhon, a gifted wordsmith, has imagined the lives of a handful of people who were on the ill-fated Hindenburg on her last flight. Dovetailing actual fact with literary artistry, Ariel focuses the story on a navigator, a stewardess, an American, a cabin boy, and a journalist. Each has secrets they are keeping or will be asked to keep. None of them knows what will happen over New Jersey, minutes before landing and after a seemingly quiet trip across the Atlantic. The prose is wonderful, the ...more
Anna
I used to say that although I am a history buff, the WWII period wouldn't be one of my particular eras of choice to read about. Somewhat accidentally, I've found that many of my favorite reads so far this year have been set in or around that time period - guess I do like it after all! You learn something new about yourself all the time.

"Flight of Dreams" is a historical fiction novel about the Hindenburg Zeppelin disaster. I loved so much about it but one of the things I loved the mo
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Kathryn
4.5 stars. Before taking up Flight of Dreams by Ariel Lawhon, I knew very little about the Hindenburg disaster, I was just vaguely aware of it. As I read into this work of fiction I became fascinated by it. I even explored an internet site that Ariel mentions at the back of her book, and know I will go back to it. I am not that much interested in non-fiction, but sometimes a work of fiction sparks off a new awareness and quest for more.

The names of the characters are those of the act
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Kate Quinn
Apr 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Really stellar. Suspenseful, tightly plotted, and racheting its way to a merciless climax, "Flight of Dreams" takes a famous historic disaster--the explosion of the Hindenburg--and uses it as a ticking clock to power the novel along as unwitting characters scheme, dawdle, fret, kiss, drink, smoke, and kill time on the great luxury dirigible crossing the Atlantic, as all the while the reader is screaming at them to get off the balloon before it's too late. Chapters swap between a handful of chara ...more
Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews

Could anyone have secrets on the Hindenburg with its size and carefully patrolled space?

It appeared that everyone had a personal secret, but one of the public secrets was the worry about a bomb threat.

The passengers had heard of a bomb threat, but it was down played.

Emilie, Max, Werner, Edward, and Leonhard and Getrude Adelt are the main storytellers. Emilie was the only female on board, Max was the navigator, Werner was the cabin boy, Edward was an American,
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Kevin
Sep 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Lawhon brings the fateful trip of the Hindenburg to life.
Marjorie
Sep 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, edelweiss
While we most likely will never know exactly why the Hindenburg disaster occurred, Ms. Lawhon has given us a fascinating and exciting theory. From what I’ve read about the Hindenburg, it’s quite a plausible theory, too. Sure, it’s mostly fiction but the characters are all based on the real people aboard the Hindenburg. And while she’s completely fabricated stories around these characters, parts of those stories are based on true facts. The author talks about that at the end of the book and refer ...more
Julie
Feb 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I can't imagine floating in the air on a ship that runs on air but what a marvel. Also a marvel is Ariel Lawhon's fictionalized tale of this historical disaster.

We all know the flight ended in disaster but it is what occurred in the confined space with the people that was explored here. I loved the intrigue and the mystery of it all.
Tracey
Apr 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although not my usual genre of choice , I have enjoyed this fact based, historical, mystery novel enough to give it 4 stars.
It is written mainly from the perspective of 5 narrators, all with unique voices and in short , alternating chapters which carries the story along at a fast pace.
The powerful if known ending was very well done, in fact the whole book is well plotted and the writing flows along.
The authors notes at the end of the book show how passionate she is about this human
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Colleen Turner
Find my full review at www.luxuryreading.com.

In Flight of Dreams, author Ariel Lawhon takes readers on board the ill-fated final flight of the Hindenburg, from boarding in Germany on May 3rd, 1937, through the conspiracy-laced flight, front and center for the horrific and grisly explosion on May 6th and into the immediate days and months to follow. During this short yet dramatic and fascinating timeline, we get to see events unfold through the eyes of five people on-board: the stewardess, Emilie, the only fe
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Sarah
It took me awhile to get into this book; we’re talking days to weeks to really get drawn in. I think it was the multitude of POVs. That took some getting used to. There also aspects of some of the relationships that seemed very sudden and overly melodramatic. Nothing will turn me off faster than melodrama. So why the five star rating you ask?

Let’s just say that after I finished, I had to take a moment to ponder the wonder I had just finished. The author is able to pull all those POVs
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Diana
Feb 26, 2016 rated it it was ok
Pretty boring book with storylines that left me with too many questions....like how did The American know who dropped the bombs that killed his brother? Why did the journalist and her husband feel the need to find out what The American was up to? And how did the crew learn that The American was up to no good? Other than the cabin boy, I didn't connect with any of the characters. And on that note, there were too many unnecessary characters and storylines that didn't add any value to the story.... ...more
Kalen
Feb 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is another novel of a fictionalized account of an actual event--and I love those. This one is, perhaps, more imagined than most and Lawhon explains at the end of the book what was real and what wasn't. One thing I loved about Flight of Dreams is that it made me want to know more--I kept Googling Hindenburg floor plans and other information about the ship and its passengers.
Plethora
Mrs. Lawhon does a spectacular job detailing the possible last three days on the ill-fated flight of the Hindenburg. All that is certainly known about the historical flight doomed on May 6, 1937 is that a fire broke out. The exact cause of this fire is still an unknown mystery that is filled with many theories, running the gambit from sabotage to lightning to mechanical failure. What I find so amazing about the disaster, was the amazing survival rate. As you see the images from that day it is ha ...more
Book Haunt
We've all seen the footage of the Hindenburg as it erupted into flames in May 1937. In Flight of Dreams, we are taken on that final flight and introduced to the crew and passengers who were aboard the German flight.

The story is told from several POVs; the stewardess, the journalist, the American, the cabin boy, the navigator. As the Nazi party approaches it's pinnacle, the flight of the Hindenburg is a source of German pride, but there are rumors of sabotage and not everyone on board is who the
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Nissa
First of all I would like to thank Keep Turning Pages and Doubleday for giving me the opportunity to read Flight of Dreams.

I have always had a fascination with the accident of the airship Hindenburg, so I was so happy to get an advance copy of the book.

The Hindenburg disaster took place on Thursday, May 6, 1937, as the German passenger airship LZ 129 Hindenburg caught fire and was destroyed during its attempt to dock with its mooring mast at Naval Air Station Lakehurst in Manchester
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Lisa B.
Mar 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
In the author's notes, Ms. Lawhorn explains that the story she has written involves people who really where on the Hindenburg during it's last flight before tragically catching on fire. She used their actual names and occupations. In some instances, incorporated actual, documented conversations. She did extensive research, but makes it clear that her story is still fiction.

I thought this concept was very smart. Her writing felt very personal, almost as if she knew each character hers
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The mother helped someone escape Germany... 1 6 Sep 24, 2018 10:39PM  
Who owned the 2nd dog and why was Max's name on the manifest? 1 4 Sep 24, 2018 10:37PM  
Fiction Fanatics: September 2018 - Flight of Dreams 3 7 Sep 07, 2018 08:47AM  

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Ariel Lawhon is the critically acclaimed author of THE WIFE, THE MAID, AND THE MISTRESS, FLIGHT OF DREAMS, and I WAS ANASTASIA. Her books have been translated into numerous languages and have been Library Reads, One Book One County, and Book of the Month Club selections. She is the co-founder of SheReads.org and lives in the rolling hills outside Nashville, Tennessee, with her husband, four sons, ...more
“Sometimes a bit of compassion and decency is reason enough to do something out of the ordinary.” 6 likes
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