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Ariel Lawhon Books In Order

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Wife, the Maid, and the Mistress (2014) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Flight of Dreams (2016) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
I Was Anastasia (2018) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Code Name Helene (2020) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Ariel Lawhon is a New York Times bestselling and critically acclaimed author of historical fiction. She is best known for her novels “The Wife,” and “Flight of Dreams,” and “The Maid and The Mistress.” Her novels have been translated into several languages and won several awards including making the list for Book of the Month Club, Library Reads, Costco, Indie Next and One Book One County selections. Lawhon is also the founder of a popular online book club known as “She Reads.” Her novels have been known as historical fiction that goes back in time to document and try to unravel historical mysteries that may be familiar to the reader but whose truth remains unknown. Ariel loves to call her writing literary historical mystery though some of her readers think differently about the novels. She has said that she is most interested in finding a moment or person at the heart of an unresolved mystery, and then telling their story. Ariel currently lives with her husband, her children, deranged Siamese cat, and black Labrador in the suburbs of Nashville, Tennessee.

Ariel does not consider herself a historian but rather a temporary subject matter expert on the historical event she is writing about in her novel. She always digs deep into the subject learning all she can about it and then clearing everything when she wants to research and write her novel. For instance, she knew everything about mob activity and Tammany Hall when she was writing her debut novel “The Wife, the Maid, and the Mistress.” A few years later, she got interested in the “Hindenburg Disaster” and could tell you everything about it which she did on “Flight of Dreams” before learning everything about the Romanovs in researching the Anastasia scandal. To research her novels, she usually uses a rudimentary process with pens and highlighters on the table before she begins reading. She will then highlight random details such as the pets of the Romanov kids. She has asserted that the gun which is a major part of the plot in “Flight of dreams” came from reading and highlighting it in one of her readings. As for choosing what to write about, Ariel Lawhon will typically go for the idea that seems impossible, overwhelming and scares her the most. She does this because the dread means she cares and will bring her best efforts in researching and writing.

Ariel Winter’s writing often emphasizes the role of women in historical events. She has said that women appeal to her sensibilities since they often remember the minute details. Women remember the humanity of the situation, the little betrayals while men would likely remember the weapons, battles, fighting, and wars. Ariel also believes that it is the women who pick up the pieces once the tragedy is over. Just like any other writer, she has been influenced by other authors. Her lifetime favorite is the novel “Lonesome Dove” by Larry McMurtry and she also loves Diana Gabaldon’s “Outlander” series for the exceptional takes on history. Other authors that have also been influential include Deanna Raybourne, Sara Gruen, Audrey Niffenegger, Khaled Housseini, Jasper Fforde and Susanna Kearsley among many others. She has also read modern classic authors such as George MacDonald, J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis and anything by Agatha Christie. As for the art of writing, she cites John Truby’s “The Anatomy of Story,” which she always rereads whenever she is writing a new novel.

Ariel Lawhon’s “The Wife, the Maid, and the Mistress” is a riveting drama set in the 1930s, where a man just went missing presumed dead. It includes newspaper reporters, gangsters, dirty detectives and lawyers and while you would expect it to be full of testosterone, it is the estrogen that rules. The lead characters in the story are three different women and their role in the disappearance or death of the man. Maria the maid has an innocent look though it turns out that she is not given that she is the detective’s wife. The slighted wife is Stella who has had to keep a secret for nearly four decades and knows more than she would have desired. Ritzi is a dumb and loose woman who likes to show off though she adds a lot of charm and proves crucial to the resolution of the mystery even if no one seems to like her. It is through the character Ritzi that we get a glimpse into the world of stardom in Broadway and what typically happens when one finally attains the stardom and find it is not what they believed it would be. Ariel chronicles the lives of the struggling starlet, the middle-class maid and the wealthy wife in showing us how life was during the 1930s.

“Flight of Dreams” by Ariel Lawhon is a fictionalized account of the “Hindenburg Disaster” that has echoes of “Murder On the Orient Express” by Agatha Christie. The novel opens with the passengers getting aboard the Hindenburg, a massive airship to travel to New York. Ariel introduces the important characters right from the first page of the novel and in the following chapters highlights the day by day experiences of the characters until the explosion. The only female stewardess aboard the ship is Emilie, who has vowed to never get involved with any of her fellow workers. However, the navigator Max is making this difficult with his effortless charm and easy-going nature. But then comes a bomb threat and a blacklisted journalist named Gertrud is sure that they are all in great danger. Working with Leonhard her husband, she starts investigating a mysterious American man she believes may be responsible for the bomb threat. The cabin boy named Werner who is also the youngest person aboard the Hindenburg has fallen for one of the passengers. Werner has been hearing and seeing things he should never have and his perspectives are changing all the time just like that of many of the other passengers.

Ariel Lawhon’s “I Was Anastasia” is an intriguing read that follows the story of Anastasia, the supposed Russian princess. According to reports out of Russia, Lenin had executed the entire Romanov family in Siberia in 1918. But in 1920, a woman who resembled Anastasia Romanov one of the daughters of Tsar Nicholas is found in a ditch in Berlin with her body full of horrific scars. When she finally recovers, she claims that she is Anastasia, the Russian Grand Duchess. Many of her detractors dismiss her claims as they believe all she wants is to get her hands on the immense fortune of the Russian imperial family. Her detractors insist on calling her Anna Anderson. But then the news of the appearance of the youngest of the Romanovs in Berlin starts to circulate in European capitals. People are captivated by the fact that she survived the massacre but they are now thinking of new threats to her life and what enemies might lie in hiding. Lawhon writes an excellent dual narrative as she tells an emotionally compelling and psychologically complex story of identity. The question of who the mysterious woman that came to be known as Anna Anderson or Anastasia Romanov touches three continents and spans five decades. It is a thrilling story as momentous and moving as it is twisted and harrowing.

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