Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

Amazon Review:  From Laura Hillenbrand, the bestselling author of Seabiscuit, comes Unbroken, the inspiring true story of a man who lived through a series of catastrophes almost too incredible to be believed. In evocative, immediate descriptions, Hillenbrand unfurls the story of Louie Zamperini–a juvenile delinquent-turned-Olympic runner-turned-Army hero. During a routine search mission over the Pacific, Louie’s plane crashed into the ocean, and what happened to him over the next three years of his life is a story that will keep you glued to the pages, eagerly awaiting the next turn in the story and fearing it at the same time. You’ll cheer for the man who somehow maintained his selfhood and humanity despite the monumental degradations he suffered, and you’ll want to share this book with everyone you know. –Juliet Disparte

“INSPIRING … EVOCATIVE … ALMOST TOO INCREDIBLE TO BE BELIEVED … a tale that will keep you glued to the pages, eagerly awaiting the next twist in the story … You’ll cheer … and you’ll want to share this book with everyone you know.”
—Amazon.com, Spotlight selection, Book of the Month, November 2010, #4 on list of Ten Best Books of the Year.

My Review:  What an eye-opening story.  I can no longer say “I don’t read non-fiction”.  Between this and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, I think I’ve been officially converted.  Zamperini is an inspirational character whose story is flawlessly revisited by the author.  At each turn you feel his pain and struggle to keep even a sliver of himself intact.  His mental capacity is one of pure strength and hope.  This book, although extremely upsetting at times, provides a different look into WW2 and the life of a POW in Japan.  Embarrassingly, I didn’t know nearly all of the history from this angle of things and am so glad that I do now.  Possibly even more grasping, was the character of “the Bird”.  His constant torture between staying true to his country and having extreme guilt over his actions, astonished me.  The book did take me a long time to read, possibly so I had a chance to process each piece, but I highly recommend pushing through to the end.  Zamperini will reward you with sharing what he really experienced and that alone is a blessing for all readers.

Next up… Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah? Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson?  Bossypants by Tina Fey?  I haven’t decided yet.  Read any good books lately?  I’d love some recommendations.

**I was not asked to, or compensated for, writing this book review.



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