Flight of Dreams

Flight of Dreams

Book - 2016
Average Rating:
Rate this:
With everyone onboard harboring dark secrets and at least one person determined to make sure the airship doesn't make the return trip, Flight of Dreams gives an utterly suspenseful, heart-wrenching explanation for one of the most enduring mysteries of the twentieth century. On the evening of May 3, 1937, Emilie Imhof boards the Hindenburg. As the only female crewmember, Emilie has access to the entire airship, from the lavish dining rooms and passenger suites to the gritty engine cars and control room. She hears everything, but with rumors circulating about bomb threats, Emilie's focus is on maintaining a professional air ... and keeping her own plans under wraps. What Emilie can't see is that everyone from the dynamic vaudeville acrobat to the high-standing German officer seems to be hiding something. Giving free rein to countless theories of sabotage, charade, and mishap, Flight of Dreams takes us on the thrilling three-day transatlantic flight through the alternating perspectives of Emilie; Max, the ship's navigator who is sweet on her; Gertrud, a bold female journalist who's been blacklisted in her native Germany; Werner, a thirteen-year-old cabin boy with a bad habit of sneaking up on people; and a brash American who's never without a drink in his hand. Everyone knows more than they initially let on, and as the novel moves inexorably toward its tragic climax, the question of which of the passengers will survive the trip infuses every scene with a deliciously unbearable tension. With enthralling atmospheric details that immediately transport and spellbinding plotting that would make Agatha Christie proud, Flight of Dreams will keep you guessing till the last page. And, as The New York Times Book Review said of her last novel, This book is more meticulously choreographed than a chorus line. It all pays off.
Publisher: New York : Doubleday, [2016]
Edition: First United States edition
ISBN: 9780385540025
Branch Call Number: FICTION Lawhon, Ariel
Characteristics: 321 pages ; 25 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
May 27, 2017

A very readable and suspenseful fictionalized account of the Hindenburg tragedy. There was an excellent author's note at the end where she explains exactly where she drew the line between fact and fiction. I would recommend reading it before you start the book. This was historical fiction that has been written in the style of a mystery. Multiple points of view and short chapters give the book a good pace.

May 19, 2017

Everyone moves around their cabins, they eat, they talk, they arrive in NJ, they crash. The End. A very unfulfilling narrative.

Chapel_Hill_TracyB Mar 12, 2017

It takes a special writer to be able to fictionalize a real event in a way that complements and doesn't subtract from the true story. Lawhon says it was the people whose story needed to be told. Every one of the characters are based on a real passenger or crew member on the Hindenburg. Starting with their true stories, Lawhon imagines how they may have all weaved together on what was described as an "uneventful" voyage, and comes up with one theory of what caused the disaster. But it's not the disaster that takes center stage, it's the people, the relationships, the motivations that drive this novel. The audio was beautifully narrated.

Feb 10, 2017

wished more of a "clean read", very interesting suspenseful story

Oct 08, 2016

Tense, detailed, absorbing read about the final flight of the Hindenburg. Recommended for those who enjoy reading about historical events from the participants' fictionalised viewpoints.

Jun 06, 2016

Lawhon's historical fiction is an account of the last flight of the Hindenburg airship in 1938.
Starts well although there are lots of characters to parse. The author amps up the tension to thriller level as the book moves along. The NYT review cites errors in details, which I found distracting as well. I’m a foodie who knows German and period food. The author got much wrong. Her characters also use expressions that are clearly much more recent than the 1930s. Disappointed.

ChristchurchLib Mar 28, 2016

On May 3, 1937, a total of 97 individuals board the D-LZ129 Hindenberg for what will prove to be the airship's final, fatal flight. Covering a three-day period, this suspenseful novel unfolds from the perspective of five characters: stewardess Emilie; her suitor and the ship's navigator, Max; German journalist Gertrud, pursuing a story despite having her press credentials revoked by the Nazi Party; cabin boy Werner, charged with guarding a mysterious piece of cargo; and an enigmatic American businessman. All five have secrets, but whose will bring down the zeppelin?

ehbooklover Mar 19, 2016

3.5 stars. An extremely well-researched, suspenseful, fictionalized account of the final flight of the Hindenburg airship. The story is very effectively told from the perspective of various people, both crew and passengers. A fast-paced and entertaining read!


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at SPPL

To Top