Kristi's Reviews > Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
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's review
Apr 02, 11

bookshelves: family, educational, friendship, heart-warming, historical, true-story, war
Read from March 25 to 27, 2011

Unbroken starts with a prologue that tosses the reader right into the middle of the Pacific Ocean, alongside Louis Zamperini and his two raftmates, and bangs shut with a cliffhanger. Hillenbrand continues to weave her magic as she illustrated Louie's life from his deliquent childhood, through his time as an Olympic funner, and finally into the heart of the story, Louie's military service during WWII.

The focus of the book is Louis Zamperini, but there are a pelethera of people who are a part of or have had an impact in his life. Hillenbrand has such a talent for fleshing out the characters that even the peripheral ones take substance and form for the reader. Her honesty and her ability to remain objective are quite impressive as she shows all sides to this story. She doesn't glorify Louie, nor does she try to hid or ignore the atrocities that were committed on both sides of the ocean.

The only difficulty that sometimes arose was when Hillenbrand would stick with a character for an extended period of time, which would carry the reader to a certain point in the story. Then when she switched the focus to another character or place, she would jump backwards on the time table. There were moments when this happened that it made the reading disjointed and the flow of the story was disrupted.

Unbroken is a horrific and beautiful story that perfectly illustrates the complexity of the human being. How all of us have the potential for truly good works and for truly evil works, and that the human spirit is an extremely strong yet flexible entity within us all.
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Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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Kelly I just finished this a couple of weeks ago...definitely lived up to the hype! Such an incredible story.

Kristi Thanks, I'm loving it so far. It took it being a group read for me to get to it, which I'm ashamed to admit. I was just feeling a burnt on all the WWII stories. They were all phenom stories, and so inspiring and heartbreaking all at the same time. I just didn't feel up to the human tragedy I guess. Now, I'm sorry I waited so long.

Martha Great review, Kristi! I know what you mean about being sorry to have waited so long.

Judi/Judith Riddle I like your review, Kristi. I loved the book but I had a hard time emotionally because some of it hit so close to home for me. I do agree with your opinion about the author's disjointed time focus. I listened to this on CD in January and realized afterward that I missed the great pictures in the book. I went to B&N to sneak a peek!

Kristi "Are you finding everything okay? Is there anything I can help you with?" "Oh, no thank you. I'm just browsing." Ha ha ha! That is SO something I would do!

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