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

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
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Dec 12, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: history-bio
Read from February 14 to March 25, 2012

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Stacey A gripping tale of a man who went from a juvenile deliquent, to track star to WWII hero, to a man who coped with what is now called PTSD and gave back to the kids in his community.

Before I read this book, I had never heard of Louis Zamperini...though if I had paid better attention to histories of the 1936 Berlin Olympics I might have noticed that he was on the same team as Jesse Owens. I also didn't know that much about the war in the Pacific outside of what I learned from "Flags of Our Fathers."

Laura Hillenbrand is a wonderful writer. Her extensive research and easy to read writing style bring alive Louie's struggles as an active young boy and the joy he (and his family) found when he directed his energy into running. Then WWII breaks out and Louie ends up an airman whose plane goes down over the pacific. He has to use all of his will to survive the weeks adrift in a life raft. Then he and his pilot Phil, the 2 survivors, are picked up by the Japanese and spend the rest of the war in Japanese prison camps. The horrors he and fellow POWs endured are not glossed over, but the author includes tales of how the POWs helped themselves and each other to survive.

While reading "Unbroken" I experienced an myriad of emotions - joy, sadness, anxiety, etc... Eventhough I knew Louie would survive to tell his tale, the book drew me in and I rooted him on. "Unbroken" gets one of my rare 5 star reviews.


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