Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
Posted by Caitie F on January 14, 2013
Summary from goodreads:
n 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.
I don’t know if it is just where I grew up, but while we learned a lot about the concentration camps, we learned nothing about how POWs were treated in Japan. Well, this book changed that and I was absolutely horrified with what I learned. I cannot imagine what the soldiers in WOrld War II went through no matter how many movies i see and books I read. It is absolutely awful, but I am glad to have read this book and learned about one man’s amazing journey.
Zamperini’s story is inspirational along with heart-breaking. His olympic journey before the war is stunning. I have never been a big track fan when it comes to the Olympics, but I found myself enthralled with his story. I learned a lot from this book about the Pacific Front, which was not covered as much in my history classes growing up. Reading about the numbers of people lost due to the planes not being good enough was so sad. Thousands of men were lost while not in combat due to these issues.
It is hard to even talk about this book because it just hits you so hard. It is a story that everyone should know about and it is written in such a beautiful way that it is hard to put down. Have some tissues nearby, if you are anything like me you will have tears in your eyes.
Do you have any nonfiction books you have enjoyed lately? Let me know since i am trying to read more nonfiction this year.