Flight of Dreams by Ariel Lawhon
"On the evening of May 3, 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 blacklisted in her native Germany, and an enigmatic American businessman with a score to settle. Over the course of three hazy, champagne-soaked days their lies, fears, agendas, and hopes for the future are revealed. Flight of Dreams is a fiercely intimate portrait of the real people on board the last flight of the Hindenburg. Behind them is the gathering storm in Europe, and before them is looming disaster. But, for the moment, they float over the Atlantic, unaware of the inexorable, tragic fate that awaits them. Brilliantly exploring one of the most enduring mysteries of the twentieth century, Flight of Dreams is that rare novel with spellbinding plotting that keeps you guessing until the last page and breathtaking emotional intensity that stays with you long after."
I thoroughly enjoyed this book! I liked getting to know all of the characters. I definitely had my favorites. Werner is the cabin boy, and I liked his character a lot. You can see that he is young and impressionable, and you can also see that he wants to impress the adults around him. He wants them to respect him. He tries very hard, but gets himself into a few awkward situations because he is young and the others feel like they can manipulate him. Emilie is the stewardess, and I also liked her character. She has a kind demeanor, is friendly to even the most obnoxious passengers, and does her job well. She has a secret that causes a bit of commotion, but I enjoyed getting to know her. Max is the navigator, and I liked him as well. He has a bit of a temper that causes problems for those he cares about, but I think he has a good heart. I also liked some of the passengers aboard the Hindenburg. I know that it's impossible to know exactly what each of the people aboard that trip were like, but I think Ms. Lawhon does a very good job at making them come to life on the page. Each of them is lifelike and relatable. And because none of them are perfect, the flaws they have make them seem so real. You can see their joys, their fears, their weaknesses, and their strengths. The plot Ms. Lawhon follows seems as if it could be what actually occurred on that doomed flight. It is completely plausible and I enjoyed watching it unfold. The hardest part was getting know these characters and being unable to stop what was coming. Reading about the explosion and how it happened was heart wrenching, especially when you saw what happened to each of the characters you had come to know and love. Let's just say it is not a fairy tale ending. However, I liked this book a lot, and would definitely recommend it.
Rating: R (There is at least one "intimacy" scene, and it's a bit detailed. There are several innuendos also. There is some profanity with at least one "f" word. And it's quite violent at the end with the explosion. Watching that many people die is not for the faint of heart.)
Disclosure: I did receive a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.