Flight of Dreams

Ariel Lawhon. Doubleday, $25.95 (304p) ISBN 978-0-385-54002-5
For her second outing, Lawhon (The Wife, the Maid, and the Mistress) once again reimagines a front-page news event, filling in the entertaining backstory with passion, secrets, and nail-biting suspense, this time taking on the disastrous crash of the Hindenburg in 1937. Using the actual passenger list from the doomed airship, the author has concocted a romance between two key crew members, Max Zabel, one of the ship’s navigators, and Emilie Imhoff, the first German stewardess hired for an airship. Since the definitive cause of the Hindenburg’s demise remains a mystery, Lawhon has conceived a plausible explanation that involves an act of revenge against one of the crew members, who, in World War I, flew the airship that bombed London and killed an American passenger’s brother. The tale is fleshed out with other characters, including a lively acrobatic entertainer named Joseph Späh; a journalist, Gertrud Adelt, whose press credentials were recently revoked by the Nazis for her outspokenness; and the cabin boy, Werner Franz, whose trip on the Hindenburg was more of a passage to adulthood than he ever could have imagined. Lawhon threads many stories together, connecting passengers and crew and bringing behind-the-scenes depth and humanity to a great 20th-century tragedy—even though we all know the Hindenburg’s fate. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 12/07/2015
Release date: 02/23/2016
Hardcover - 978-1-4104-8762-9
Compact Disc - 978-0-399-56561-8
Paperback - 384 pages - 978-1-101-87392-2
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