I finally took the plunge and read Laura Hillenbrand’s Unbroken last month. Since the time it was published in 2010, it seemed everyone and their brother was reading it and raving about it.
I kept putting it off, because I wasn’t sure I could handle reading about the brutality experienced by Louis Zamperini, the subject of the book, while he was a prisoner of war in Japan during World War II. I finally caved and added it to my book club this year, so I wouldn’t have the chance to chicken out.
However once I actually started the book, I couldn’t put it down. I’m a pretty slow reader—and I finished it in a week. I did have to skim over several different paragraphs—my heart couldn’t handle everything. But overall, I found the reward worth the risk.
I loved Hillenbrand’s story-telling style. And she clearly amassed a huge amount of background research. I appreciated how she filled in the main story with helpful historical context. Of course, she also chose a fascinating subject!
But as amazing as Louis was, my favorite person in his story was his older brother Pete. I was in awe of his ability to know his little brother so well, to see the potential in him, and to advocate for him. No wonder he made such a terrific coach.
I’ll write some more about how Unbroken impacted me in my next post. But for now, it’s your turn:
What did you think of Unbroken? Was it what you expected? Did any of you, like me, wonder several times, “How on earth did he live through this???” My husband and I remember watching a short profile on Zamperini on TV during the 1998 Nagano Olympics. Does anyone else remember seeing it? Is anyone aware of plans to translate Zamperini’s story into film or another medium?