I just finished reading Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand, subtitled A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption and was it ever! This book grabbed me from the beginning and didn’t let go.
This is the story of Louis Zamperini – growing up as a rebellious boy he funneled his energy into running and became a high school and college standout in the 1930’s. He was such an accomplished runner he competed in the Berlin Olympics in the 5k, although his bread and butter race with the mile and many people speculated that he would be the first to break the 4 minute mile barrier. Then WWII rolled around and Louie enlisted in the US Air Force and became a bombardier. Stationed in Hawaii his plane crashed on a search mission for another plane that had gone down. Surviving on a life raft for over 40 days in the Pacific Ocean only to be picked up by a Japanese ship and sent to a POW camp. Barely surviving in the POW camp until the end of the war, he finally makes it back home to his life!
This book was fantastic, very well written and it amazed me the details of the events that took place some 65 years ago. I’m not a history buff by any means, I knew a little about Pearl Harbor and the war that was fought in Europe but I learned a lot more about the battle that took place on the Pacific theater. My eyes were really opened to the harsh and terrible conditions that the POW’s suffered in Japan and it amazed me to read about the will to survive!
Hillenbrand does a fantastic job of telling Zamperini’s story, the book reads like a thriller and the 450+ pages fly by and you get caught up in the story. I would highly recommend this book and I can see why it is on the New York Times bestseller list.