The Hindenburg is one of those moments in history often portrayed in tv or mentioned in movies. Even, long ago in the 1970s, John-Boy Walton improbably covered its last arrival in the United States. Today it is remembered only as a tragedy, but in its lifetime it was the last word in travel elegance. It was showcased flying over the Berlin Olympics and was marketed by the Nazi regime as the way to travel with both speed and luxury.
In Ariel Lawhon’s new novel, Flight of Dreams, we learn much more about the Hindenburg and let me say this book is a thriller from start to finish! It’s just aching to be made into a costume drama for PBS’s MASTERPIECE! With a character’s story lines zinging by ala Downton Abbey and Gosford Park there is no time to be anywhere but on the edge of your seat.
Like Downton and Gosford, the cast is wide and rich. The ship’s company is well-represented by the token woman, the young cabin boy, a navigator, a chef, and a few others. The passengers include a family traveling home to expatriate life in Mexico, two Jewish men, and, best of all for me, a cross-generational couple: Leonhard and Gertrud Adelt–you all know how I love an older-man, younger woman romance. This one doesn’t disappoint. But the lynch pin of this cast is a devious American with a talent for going places he’s not supposed to be and for getting what he wants.
This book takes you inside the lighter-than-air-hotel, makes you feel the excitement and the tedium of the journey. You come to care about the people you’ve just met on the voyage in a way that is rare in a thriller. All of the different story lines are told in short chapters in which the plot rapidly thickens. To say more would spoil the reading for all of you. Just Read it!
Flight of Dreams by Ariel Lawhon.