To encourage and fortify relationships between military service members, veterans, their families, their friends, and their Country; to nurture the path of communication for everyone, ensuring that no one is alone or left behind; and proving that we have not, are not, and will never forget the nobility of their sacrifices.

Friday, December 16, 2011

UNBROKEN By Laura Hillenbrand ~ Book Review

When I originally bought Unbroken I had no idea what it was about. I supremely enjoyed Laura Hillenbrand's book Seabiscuit so I bought the book hoping I would enjoy it as much as I enjoyed her first book.

Unbroken showcases the life of Louis Zamperini. I'm ashamed to say I had no idea who Louis was, what his accomplishments were, or his story of survival before reading Unbroken. Unbroken is the type of survivor story that makes you think over and over again, How did he live through that? Hillenbrand sets the foundation for Louis strength in his resourceful childhood and family dynamics. Louis strength and determination help him achieve his goal of running in the 1936 Olympics as well as help him survive 47 days adrift at sea in an inflatable raft with two other survivors from his plane with no water, provisions, and sharks jumping into the inflatable raft in an attempt to eat the survivors.  After surviving the impossible, Louis and his pilot Phil reach land, only to be captured as Japanese POW.

The Japanese did not consider any Allied forces as Prisoners Of War but instead unarmed combatants, therefore they did not adhere to the Geneva Convention regarding treatment of POWs. The treatment of POW's by the Japanese was cruel to say the least. They were tortured, beaten, starved, enslaved, and were the victims of medical experiments.

The hope, teamwork, and compassion the POW's felt for each other is exposed through Hillenbrand's words. The support and love of the Veterans for each other after their release is just as present. Louis post war life and battle with PTSD is explored as well as how he recovers.

This is an amazing must read book that should be on everyones shelves. Once I started reading, I was held in its grip until the very last page. Louis, Phil who was his pilot, and all of the other POW's stories are an amazing story of survival demonstrating the Unbroken American Spirit.

No comments: