Monday, March 27, 2017

Flight of Dreams by Ariel Lawhon - #TheBookDrop

Happy Monday Deweys!

Drum roll promised... Here is my review of Flight of Dreams
*the crowd goes wild*

Flight of Dreams by Ariel Lawhon was the featured March 2017 #TheBookDrop The Jane box book.
--> This is a reshelved book but I wanted to make the main focus on the title of the post that this book is from #TheBookDrop.  #TheBookDrop is a subscription box that I'm subscribed to and I find it to be quite awesome!  It's also a box that isn't crazy expensive.  It's nice to know that every month, I'll have a book delivered to my doorstep (which to me is like waking up on Christmas morning and finding those presents under the tree).  Buying books now is something that's still a little challenging because Baby C is still too little to be out in public places. 

#TheBookDrop included the book, a letter from Ariel Lawhon and a bookplate. 

I really enjoyed this book which I am surprised to find myself saying.  I usually don't go toward novels that are based off of historical events. (I have nothing against history, it's just not my thing when I'm picking out a book). 

I am a Jersey Girl and sadly I knew NOTHING of the Hindenburg! I don't know why and I am rather embarrassed to say that.  It was something happened down in South Jersey and I knew that a blimp (I wasn't even calling it a ZEPPELIN) caught fire but nothing more.  For some reason I thought that the Lindbergh kidnapping five years before was related to the Hindenburg - it's not. 

Usually the box includes the book and why the curator of the box chose the book.  What was really cool about this month's #TheBookDrop box is that it included a letter from Ariel Lawhon.  In her letter she explained her inspiration behind Flight of Dreams.  As we know, my new thing is researching an author's inspiration for their novel.  So this was like being able to have my cake and eat it too!

I started writing this post before I got super far into the book.  I figured that if I researched the Hindenburg beforehand, it would provide me with a better understanding of what was being presented in the book as historical fact and how Lawhon's imagination took those facts and spun everything into a wonderfully captivating story. 

A little backstory on the Hindenburg Zeppelin or a dirigible... The ill fated event occurred on May 6, 1937 in Lakehurst, NJ at the Lakehurst Naval Air Station, where only 62 survived out of the 97 on board.  The Hindenburg made trips from Germany to New York and to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The Hindenburg was named the German elected president in 1925. The Hindenburg was the first zeppelin to be constructed around carrying helium-- helium is a natural gas that is less flammable than hydrogen.  Due to restrictions in the United States (it was feared that Hitler would use the helium for "military purposes"), the Hindenburg was unable to fly with helium -- it was redesigned to be flown with hydrogen instead. The Hindenburg was 803 feet in length and could travel at a speed of 80mph.  It was decorated with the flag of the Nazi Party--the new German national flag at the time in 1936, and it bore the symbol of the Olympic Rings to promote the Summer Olympic games-- in 1936 the Summer Olympics took place in Berlin. 

Now... full ahead into the book!

I loved how the book was written with such detail.  On every page, Lawhon was able to paint a clear picture of the characters and the environment that surrounded them.  Lawhon also based her characters on the passengers on the Hindenburg at the time of the fire - which I also thought was really cool (as you can see, I told you that I don't read historical fiction!).  Her characters also shared the same fates as those who they were based on-- if someone had passed away in the book, it was because they passed away in the explosion (which she explains at the end of the novel).  

The book focuses between five different characters: Emilie - "The Stewardess", Max - "The Navigator", Edward- "The American", Werner - "The Cabin Boy" and Gertrud - "The Journalist". The novel also takes place over the course of three days, which was the duration of the final flight from Frankfurt, Germany to Lakewood, New Jersey. As the reader, you see how each character interacts with one another and how they feel.  Each character provides information to one another that pulls the book together.  Whether its from the crew interacting with each other, the passengers with another or the crew and the passengers speaking to each other.

The stories of these five people are intertwined- the story is intricately woven.

I felt like you could feel the love that Max Zabel had for Emilie Imhof, the way that he cared for her and the desire that they shared for one another.  I found Max to be handsome, he reminded me a lot of G (who is a merchant marine) and Emilie was a character that I couldn't get a good read on--she was very secretive.  The character who I was very interested in learning more about was Edward Douglas ("The American"), I wanted to know who he was and why he there.  I thought that he was a rather creepy character- one that you couldn't get away from. Werner Franz ("The Cabin Boy") was another character that I really liked- a fourteen year old boy who grew up right in front of your eyes with the turn of every page.  Gertrud Adelt was a character who wasn't all that she seemed- she was portrayed as having a rock solid exterior but she did have her moments of softness. Both Emilie and Gertrud were characters who were defying the boundaries in Germany at that time-- Emilie was the first stewardess aboard a Nazi airship and Gertrud was a journalist (one who didn't seem so keen on the Nazis).

Flight of Dreams is nothing short of literary awesomeness and I give this book five (5) out of five (5) coffee beans.  It's a captivating page turner and it leaves you guessing at every page especially during the fateful final day when the Hindenburg is in flight.  Its a little bit romance, a little bit of a mystery and a whole lot of wonderful reading!


P.S. For those who are curious, these are the links to the websites that I found background information on the Hindenburg!

1 comment:

  1. A book box would be super fun & you're right--totally like Chrsitmas every month. Glad you liked this one!