Friday, December 13, 2013

Review - "Unbroken" by Laura Hillenbrand

**** Since this is my first book review I just wanted to let you know what to expect. I will do a simple review first for those who have not read the book.  This part will not include any spoiler....none what so ever.  I will then switch over to a more in-depth discussion of topics within the book.  At that point if you haven't read the book and intend to.....well you should probably stop reading.  If you have read it, then feel free to let me know what you think.  Here we go!! ****

I am not one who typically seeks out war stories, but Laura Hillenbrand's novel "Unbroken" came well recommended by many I know, so I gave it a chance.  I am absolutely thrilled that I did.   Laura...I hope I can call her a fantastic writer.  She knows how to tell a story so the reader can be submerged in the sights, smells and feelings of a world with out throwing too many words around.  Each bit of information she gives you is pertinent to the story and it is laid out in such a way that has you hanging on to every word.  There were moments when I would tell my self that I was only going to read one chapter, yet the next thing I knew three hours had passed.

As for the story it, just wow.  I kept having to cope with feelings of ignorance as learned more and more about what the soldiers had to go through.  I guess I always knew that someone had to be the pilots for brand new, never tested planes before, but I never thought about how scary that could really be.  I mean I get nervous on sturdy commercial air liners when I am only flying a few states away, but these guys were taking new equipment out over oceans.

Also......why have I never heard of Louis Zamperini before!?!?  **Im going to rant about this a bit below in the more detailed version...I dont want to give anything away** I am so glad that Laura told his story.

The parts she described about the crash and the POW camps.......they just made my soul hurt.  But it was also inspiring to see how much a human will can endure.  Laura's book asked all the right questions as I thought of them in my own mind.  She really examines what made Louie tick and what pushed him to endure these horrific experiences. She made me question my own mental strength.....could I have kept as positive as Louie and his companions did?  Talk about a time for self reflection.

So if you haven't, go get this book!  It's not happy go lucky, so don't pick it up for light reading.  But if your ready for some deep self reflection and examples of human endurance, this is the book for you.


Ok so why have I never heard of Louis Zamperini before?! I wonder if things had turned out differently....had there not been a war, would he have broken the four minute mile first? If I am remembering correctly he was only 12 seconds away at one point and he maintained that through out his military training.  It's amazing how much the wars took away from people both physically and mentally.

Holy cow those planes sound so scary.  I know that they were fairly well built and all, but they sounded like flying tree-forts to me.  I am not sure that I could have handled flying over an ocean to a foreign land where you will have a 99% chance of being shot at while completing a mission and then flying back all on one tank of gas.  That takes a rare kind of brave I am grateful I have not had to find in my self yet.  I wonder how that out look changes people.

Lets talk about his his wife for a second.  I was so touched by the fact that she did not give up on him.  Now a days I believe a lot of people would have walked out at the first sign of alcoholism or violence, but she helped him through it. Granted Louis went through heck and back twenty times over and i'm sure that is not something that those who did not go through it will ever understand.  It must have been so hard for his wife to watch him go through those nightmares every day, and yet......In that way she is an example to me of hard work and dedication to someone/something you love.  It proves to me that the things that mean the most in your life are those that require the hardest work and maybe some blood, sweat and tears.  

To sum it up, I liked....LOVED this book!  Thank you to those who suggested it.  What did you guys think?

So the question is, what is next?  If you have any book suggestions for me, please put them in the comment suggestion below!

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