I don't usually blog about books because I keep my reviews and book lists on Goodreads. But I finished a book this morning that I just had to share about.
I got a Barnes & Noble gift card for my birthday and this book had been the talk of the book world since it's release in November 2010, so I bought it. I'm a sucker for WWII non-fiction anyway, so I thought this was a good bet.
I read and enjoyed Hillenbrand's Seabiscuit, but I was totally unprepared for the power of Unbroken. Two nights I went to bed just after I put the kids down, just to inhale this book. I dreamed about it. I thought about it even when I wasn't reading it. I took it everywhere with me so when I was waiting for the kids or for appointments, I could sneak in a few pages. It is raw. It is painful. It is meticulously researched. It is unbelievable. It is heroic. I cried my way through the last pages and through the acknowledgements. If you buy a single book this year, make it this one.
And then let me know what you think about it.
"On a May afternoon in 1943, an Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood. Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared. It was that of a young lieutenant, the plane’s bombardier, who was struggling to a life raft and pulling himself aboard. So began one of the most extraordinary odysseys of the Second World War.
The lieutenant’s name was Louis Zamperini. In boyhood, he’d been a cunning and incorrigible delinquent, breaking into houses, brawling, and fleeing his home to ride the rails. As a teenager, he had channeled his defiance into running, discovering a prodigious talent that had carried him to the Berlin Olympics and within sight of the four-minute mile. But when war had come, the athlete had become an airman, embarking on a journey that led to his doomed flight, a tiny raft, and a drift into the unknown.
Ahead of Zamperini lay thousands of miles of open ocean, leaping sharks, a foundering raft, thirst and starvation, enemy aircraft, and, beyond, a trial even greater. Driven to the limits of endurance, Zamperini would answer desperation with ingenuity; suffering with hope, resolve, and humor; brutality with rebellion. His fate, whether triumph or tragedy, would be suspended on the fraying wire of his will.
In her long-awaited new book, Laura Hillenbrand writes with the same rich and vivid narrative voice she displayed in Seabiscuit. Telling an unforgettable story of a man’s journey into extremity, Unbroken is a testament to the resilience of the human mind, body, and spirit."