Unbroken

UnknownI just finished reading Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand. A friend had given me the book a few years ago, and I had it in my stack of books to read. I never have as much time to read as I’d like, so the book sat in my stack for awhile. When I heard the story was coming out as a movie last fall, I thought, I really need to read this now! I finally had a chance to get started on it a few months ago. It’s a great book, and I highly recommend it. If you’re not familiar with the story, in a nutshell, it’s about Louie Zamperini, a boy who often got into trouble growing up. His brother Pete, hoping to help change that, suggested that Louie get involved with the school track team when he was 15. And so Louie discovered his love and gift for running–running well enough to participate in the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin. Hoping to participate in another Olympics, plans changed when World War II began and Louie enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps. He miraculously survived when the bomber he was serving on crashed into the ocean. But the ill-equipped life raft he and two other men were on was not discovered for another 47 days–47 days of fighting off sharks, weathering storms, having very little to eat, and developing blistering sores from the strong sun and saltwater waves. Unfortunately for Louie and the second survivor (the third man had died), they were finally found, but by the Japanese forces–and were held as Prisoners of War, undergoing unimaginable suffering and hardship. As I was reading Louie’s story, I just couldn’t imagine going through all the suffering that he did. But he never gave up–he always had hope. And he prayed. And God answered. One particular chapter told of how Louie and the other men, lost at sea on the raft, had gone without water for 6 days:

On the sixth day without water, the men recognized that they weren’t going to last much longer. Mac was failing especially quickly. They bowed their heads together as Louie prayed. If God would quench their thirst, he vowed, he’d dedicate his life to Him. The next day, by divine intervention or the fickle humors of the tropics, the sky broke open and rain poured down. Twice more the water ran out, twice more they prayed, and twice more the rain came. The showers gave them just enough water to last a short while longer. From Unbroken, end of Chapter 14

Louie would suffer many more hardships before the war finally ended. And even after the war ended. But with God’s help, he was able to endure and overcome them. You could say he ran his race well-very, very well. Louie died on July 2, 2014, several months before the movie came out, at age 97. I still haven’t seen the movie. Have you seen it or read the book?

Linked to Inspire Me Monday.

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11 thoughts on “Unbroken

  1. Book Guy Reviews

    Loved this book so much! The movie wasn’t as good. Thanks for sharing the wonderful book synopsis. If you’re ever interested in some other awesome book reviews and musings, be sure to follow! Thanks!

    Reply
  2. Shari

    Thanks for your review, Nancy! I have been meaning to read this book, too. It was good to find out more about it. From what I’ve heard of the movie, I’m not sure I could handle it, but I would still like to read the book. There are so many books on my to read, list. So many books, so little time!:)

    Reply
    1. nancyc Post author

      Yes, that’s what I’ve heard people say about this book, Patty. Even though they liked the movie, they thought the book was even better!

      Reply
  3. imaginativefaith

    The book is SO good! Just watched the movie the other day and while it gets the gist of the story, it can’t capture the fine details and deep emotion. I just keep telling people to read the book, or listen to it on audiobook if the number of pages is daunting. Hillenbrand writes so beautifully and there is so much of his life that couldn’t be captured in 2 hours.

    Reply
    1. nancyc Post author

      I really enjoyed the book, too–one of the best I’ve read. That is true–so much in the book to try to capture into 2 hours–just can’t be done!

      Reply

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