Unbroken

 

unbroken1

A Book Review

Unbroken 

A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption

by Luann Rottmann

 

A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption

By Laura Hillenbrand  c.2010

It’s quite a story.  I must admit that I had trouble getting through some of the gruesome details but the story is fascinating. It documents the life of Louis Zamperini, an Olympic runner, who enlists in the Army Air Corp and became a bombardier during World War II.  While on a mission in 1943 the Green Hornet crashed into the Pacific Ocean, leaving only debris and an oil spill. Louis and two others were the only survivors of that crash.  They lived in an ocean full of sharks with only a few meager survival supplies and a tiny life raft.

The author researched the details of the book using newspaper clippings, diaries, interviews, Japanese translators, and many archived historical documents.  The notes and index are impressive.

After capture by the Japanese Louis is held as a Prisoner of War in camps controlled by leaders who did not respect the rules of the Geneva Convention.  Torture, starvation, and forced labor were tools used in these camps.  The detailed explanations were awful and forced me to skip a few chapters hoping for the end of the war to come soon and liberate these Americans ( and Brits, Australians, etc.) that were held in captivity.

Obviously there is more to the story and interestingly Billy Graham, the famous evangelist, plays a part in Louis’ life. Even after the war, life was not easy for Louis and other veterans.   It’s a fabulous book. It is available at the Havelock-Craven County Public Library as an audio CD and as well as in a large print edition.

The author, Laura Hillenbrand, married to actor Gary Sinese ( of Forrest Gump fame) has also written Seabiscuit.  Seabiscuit is the true story of a racehorse during the Depression era. This book is also available at the public library in Havelock on Cunningham Boulevard.  Just ask at the desk and the ladies there will help you find these books and any others.  The online catalog allows users to search for books and other materials, reserve books, renew books etc.  If you need help connecting to the catalog ask at the desk.