Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption

Unbroken

Summary:

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.(Summary and book cover courtesy of goodreads.com)

Review:

When he found out the movie was coming out over Christmas, my boyfriend demanded I read “Unbroken” as he had already started listening to it and loved it.  My family has a tradition of seeing a movie during Christmas break so I agreed, but I was apprehensive this was “just another war story”.  This book was So. Much. More.  Since I haven’t gotten around to reading “Seabiscuit” yet, I didn’t know quite yet the magic that Hillebrand has when writing.

“Unbroken” is mesmerizing and sucks you into the story.  It showed a part of World War that I believe often gets glossed over.  I particularly enjoyed how Hillebrand was able to weave history into the narrative story so the reader is able to see the big picture as well.  I would highly recommend reading this book for the almost impossible story and learning more about the Pacific Theater.

Warning:  Contains repeated violence

Rating: 5 stars!

Who should read it? Everyone