Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption
By Laura Hillenbrand
Random House, 2010. 473 pgs. Biography
Louis Zamperini has lived an amazing life. As a child he was out of control, causing all kinds of problems in his local town. As a teenager he discovered his love for running and was good enough to compete in the 1936 Berlin Olympics, and as a young adult he found himself fighting in WWII as an airman. On May 27, 1943 his plane went down in the Pacific Ocean and after several days of searching, the military declared it lost at sea along with all those on board. He and another airman survived for 47 days on a small raft and traveled over 2000 miles into enemy waters. They were soon captured and transferred to a POW camp in Japan where they suffered horrific treatment by the guards. Louis endured all of this with optimism.
I was actually surprised that I liked this book as much as I did. I don't usually read nonfiction, and it is really rare that one will interest me enough that I stay up late to read it, but I couldn't stop turning the pages to find out what he would have to overcome next. I was appalled at the treatment of the POW's in the Japanese camps and I have a new appreciation for the men and women who sacrifice so much for our country.