Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I first picked up this book because it was on the ‘best-sellers’ list and had a lot of ‘hype’. I was attracted to the cover and knew it was about WWII. I was surprised once I started reading to learn it was a true story and not a novel, and almost put it down assuming it would fall into the class of ‘memoir’ and I would not enjoy it. I am SO GLAD I did not!
This is an amazing book! It tells the story of Louis Zamperini and his war time experiences. Louie was an Olympian who actually competed in the 1936 Olympics. He was well on his way to competing in the 1940 Olympics when war broke out, forcing their cancellation! Instead, Louie found himself in the Pacific as a bombardier.
While out on a ‘search and rescue’ mission, his plane goes down in the Pacific. With few provision, he and two other are adrift in the Pacific, surrounded by sharks. At this point in the book, I was astounded by the incompetency. The crew was sent out in a plane that most everyone knew was doomed to fail. And the lack of provisions was terrible. Just when it seemed all was lost, they spotted land! Unfortunatly, it was land occupied by the Japanese and they were picked up and became POWs. As POWs they suffer torture and humiliation. Again, this is astounding. I had no idea how our POWs were treated. My only experience of the Japanese is as courteous, intelligent people. But it is easy to see how adults of the post-war generation could hold a grudge and consider ‘Japanese’ as ‘bad’.
I learned a lot by reading this book and it certainly increased by respect for the veterans who serve our country. EVERYONE should read this book! This book makes you want to go out and find a veteran and say ‘THANK YOU!’
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