Book Review: Unbroken


A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption

Laura Hillenbrand

When throwing leftovers down the garbage disposal, I had the sickening thought that there were POWs who would have risked their lives for those tiny scraps of food that I was just getting rid of.  It made me sick to my stomach that we are wasting so much and that these men had to go through something so terrible.  When a book has influence enough to make you think about things like that, I say it’s making quite the impression.

Unbroken was unlike any nonfiction book I’ve read.  It reads like a gripping story, but in the back of my mind, I was acutely aware that this was not make-believe.  It follows Louis Zamperini, one time Olympic runner, who during WWII became an American serviceman with an amazing story to tell.  After their plane crashed, he and one other man survived adrift a raft in shark-infested waters for 47 days.  You find yourself rooting for their redemption only to find that when they land, they are captured by Japanese soldiers and are sent to one POW camp after another.

It’s an amazing story of survival and forgiveness.  It made me better understand why my grandfather, who served in Japan, still had a distaste for the Japanese ’til the day he died.  Growing up in the 80s, Japan was an ally, not a foe.  I never understood before what brutality had occurred on Japanese soil.  I guess there is so much History focused on the Nazis that I somehow missed that equally horrific things happening concurrently on the other side of the world.  This book brought that to light quite vividly.

It was an amazing story, definitely worth your read… I wouldn’t want my children reading it quite yet, due to the sensitive nature of the subject matter.  5 of 5 stars.

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About Laura

A Christian wife, mother, daughter, former educator, photographer, amateur chef, pretend gardener, alto 🎶, book nerd, cancer-survivor and laundry-hater.

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