Book Review: The Unbroken:A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand

Author: Sherry Helms

Laura Hillenbrand, author of the bestselling novel ‘Seabiscuit’ tells the true and inspiring personal tale of redemption and resilience of a man who lived through a series of catastrophes that are too incredible to be believed.

The Unbroken is the story of Louie Zamperini-a juvenile delinquent turned Olympic runner turned Army hero. The swiftly moving story takes the reader from Zamperini’s early beginnings, his swift rise to track star, the Berlin Olympics and then to the World war. This is where the story really blooms.

During a routine search mission over the Pacific Ocean, Louie’s plane crashes into the ocean and after that what happens to him over the next three years of his life is a story that will grip you, draw you in and keep you glued to the pages. The author tells the story as a nearly continuous flow of suspense. She opens with a gripping two page glimpse of Zamperini in mortal danger lying on a raft in the Pacific on June 23; 1943.Zamperini with other three survivors of the crash got stuck in the sea for 27 days. “Sharks glided in lazy loops around them, dragging their backs along the rafts waiting.” “Spotting a plane, Zamperini fires off two flares only to discover that it is a Japanese bomber.

When you reach the end of this man’s incredible journey, you will be awed by the scope of her writing. It is clear that Laura did a vast amount of research while writing this book.  This book of 500 pages almost has everything: crime, poverty, rags to riches, to rags to riches again, Hitler, shark attacks, religion, Cruel Japanese Guards, booze, sport and redemption. After reading this story, you will cheer for the man who somehow maintained his self hood and humanity despite the monumental degradations he suffered.

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