by Laura Hillenbrand
A true WWII story of survival resilience and redemption
How could a man who has experienced the very height of human suffering hold no bitterness toward his captors?
When best-selling author Laura H first heard famous Olympic runner and POW Louis Zamperini’s story, she was fascinated by the kindness that marked his voice. This man had endured more than 3 years as a prisoner-of-war (POW) under the guard of brutal Japanese guards during World War II. His life story is marked by incredible triumphs and bitter defeats, yet he persevered through it all.
To be honest, I watched the movie version of Unbroken years before I ever picked up the book, but this was a big mistake. Watching the film first robbed me of the full story and the chance to allow the full scope of of the torture and suffering to sink in. The complete story of Zamperini’s suffering at the hands of his Japanese captors is far worse than the 2014 film produced by Angelina Jolie depicts. Zamperini and his fellow POW’s endured unspeakable horrors that would change them forever. After the war, the survivors returned with many scars, but the most painful were ones that you could not see. Their minds, their dignity and their soul had been subjected to intense brutality.
This book is an absolute must-read for Americans of all ages. Freedom isn’t free. Yet sometimes we forget that this cliché saying illustrates a priceless truth about the sacrifices that the men and women of our military have willingly made for our freedom.
Furthermore, this book conveys a deeply spiritual truth that forgiveness can heal even the most brutal form of victimhood. This is especially important in the #meToo era, in which women and men alike are struggling to rebuild their lives after a brutal violation of their human dignity. Unbroken reminds us that you may not be able to control the behavior of others, but you can control how you respond. Choosing bitterness is like swallowing poison, and waiting for the other person to die, while you wallow in pain. Louis Zamperini chose to move on from his pain, and embrace forgiveness and healing that only a supernatural being like God can provide.
You can purchase Unbroken on Amazon or at any other major bookstore.
After you read this riveting tale, be sure to treat yourself to one or both of the major motion pictures released in 2014 and 2018 based on Hillenbrand’s book.