Biography & Autobiography - Military
Unbroken, by Laura Hillenbrand, is not usually the type of book I read. When I had the opportunity to review it, I figured I would give it a try and then let my husband read it when I was done because he likes stories about war. But I am so glad I read it because it is an amazing story!
Here is what the publisher says:
On a May afternoon in 1943, an Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood. Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared. It was that of a young lieutenant, the plane’s bombardier, who was struggling to a life raft and pulling himself aboard. So began one of the most extraordinary odysseys of the Second World War. The lieutenant’s name was Louis Zamperini. In boyhood, he’d been a cunning and incorrigible delinquent, breaking into houses, brawling, and fleeing his home to ride the rails. As a teenager, he had channeled his defiance into running, discovering a prodigious talent that had carried him to the Berlin Olympics and within sight of the four-minute mile. But when war had come, the athlete had become an airman, embarking on a journey that led to his doomed flight, a tiny raft, and a drift into the unknown. Ahead of Zamperini lay thousands of miles of open ocean, leaping sharks, a foundering raft, thirst and starvation, enemy aircraft, and, beyond, a trial even greater. Driven to the limits of endurance, Zamperini would answer desperation with ingenuity; suffering with hope, resolve, and humor; brutality with rebellion. His fate, whether triumph or tragedy, would be suspended on the fraying wire of his will. In her long-awaited new book, Laura Hillenbrand writes with the same rich and vivid narrative voice she displayed in Seabiscuit. Telling an unforgettable story of a man’s journey into extremity, Unbroken is a testament to the resilience of the human mind, body, and spirit.
While I thought the book started a little slow with a ton of background info that didn't seem very relevant, it all came together later in the story. By the middle of the book I couldn't put it down! For some reason, I have never realized how many POWs were held by Japan in WWII. When I think of WWII, I usually think of Hitler and the concentration camps in Europe, but after reading Louie's story, I now know of the horrors men faced in the Pacific as well. It gives me a great appreciation and thankfulness for the freedoms we have in our lives today. I thought the story would be just about being stranded on a raft for over 40 days, but then Louie's story turned even worse and he was forced through horror after horror in the Japanese POW camps. It is amazing what physical tortures an unbroken mind and strong will can endure. And the book didn't even end with his rescue, it went on to tell how Louie overcame alcoholism, became a Christian, used his story to help others, and even forgave his captors. This story had me laughing and crying and, while I am sad that this is a true story that many POWs lived through, I think this is a great book to read.
I recieved this book for free for review from Waterbrook Multnomah.
Juvenile Fiction - Religious - Christian - Fantasy
Fiction - Christian - General