As the last paged was turned I closed the book and bawled like a baby. Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand is a book you will live with long after it is read. This is the story of Louie Zamperini. Zamperini was a track and field star of the 1930′s, ran in the Berlin Olympics and was a member of the US air for during WWII. Zamperini was shot down over the ocean and held as a POW by the Japanese. You will rarely find me reading a war book, but Hillenbrand is such a skilled author who brings this story to life in vivid detail, I found I could not put this book down. Hillenbrand’s book is carefully researched and gives this story the details and respect that is due.
This book begins with Zamperini’s early life events and how lessons he learned early on helped in his survival later. Hillenbrand tells the story through the words of men who were actually there during the B24 bombers raids, through the sequence of events that left Louis and his friend Phil adrift at sea, along with the horrors that awaited them at the POW camps. When you read a book titled Unbroken and then you read some of the stories in this book half way through you think, “Wow I am amazed that did not break him,” then you find out the horrors had only begun.
This was a hard book to read. I questioned the Lord while reading it. How could one man go through so much? How could he survive? Lord where were you in it all? Hillenbrand answers that question through a young minister whose name you will recognize (don’t want to give it away) shows up and breaks through all the evil left in Zamperini’s heart. Is is only God who can break through those kind of hell-like horrors and change a man for His glory.
I have read a lot of good books this year, but I think this one has had the greatest impact on my heart. Even if you have never read a war story book, please read this one.
FTC Disclosure: This is a book I purchased on my own.