I just finished reading Laura Hillenbrand's Unbroken last night and I am moved beyond words. It was a truly remarkable book.
Unbroken is the story of Louie Zamperini. Louie was throughout his life a juvenile delinquent, a high school track star and an Olympic runner during the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, but is is what he endures during WWII that makes Louie special. Louie is first and foremost...a survivor. He manages to survive a horrific plane crash, a stranding at sea and years of abuse in Japanese POW camps. It seems unthinkable that any one person could overcome such terrors.
Louie's story is compelling, but what hit me so directly was that although his particular story was unique, there were also so many other men who endured similar horrors durning the War and yet most came quietly home to become our dads.
I picked up this book because I loved Laura's other book Seabiscuit. She is such a wonderful writer who manages to engage her reader so completely. I am not typically a big fan of non-fiction as I like to be swept away when I'm reading. Laura's gift is that she can take what might appear to be a dry or difficult subject and turn them into a can't put it down, sweeping story.
She is also a meticulous researcher. Knowing this gives her work great credibility. My favorite quote in her "Acknowledgement " section was from Louie himself. "When I want to know what happened to me in Japan, I call Laura." That says a lot.
Please read and if you are local friend or family, I'll gladly loan you my copy.