Monday, April 30, 2012

Unbroken - Haunting

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption, by Laura Hillenbrand, will haunt you. This is the story of Louis Zamperini who came from a loving family but suffered through the depression as so many others did. After a troubled youth, Louis finds his niche – running. He eventually makes it to the Olympics. His bright future is interrupted by World War II. Louis ends up in the US Air Force and flies bombers despite a fear of flying. Eventually, Louis’ luck runs out and his plane is shot down over the Pacific Ocean. He and two other men are adrift for nearly seven weeks. But when they’re rescued their battle for survival continues. They end up in a Japanese POW camp and life just gets worse and worse. Reading about the atrocities and abuse Louis and his fellow POWs endured is very difficult, but somehow I couldn’t stop reading. After the war ends and Louis returns home life continues to be difficult. Unable to run and dealing with the nightmares of war and his captivity, Louis turns to alcohol. But there is light at the end of the tunnel. He turns his life around and even returns to Japan. I seldom read war stories. They’re just not for me. But this book is so powerful I couldn’t put it down. Anyone who has any interest in history will enjoy Hillenbrand’s beautiful telling of Zamperini’s life. Don’t skip over Unbroken!

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