Friday, January 20, 2012


Unbroken was on my “want to read this” list when my mother let me borrow her copy. I read it in less than 24 hours. This book is that good!

This book is also not for the faint of heart. My mother was reading Unbroken and just couldn't make it past the part where Louis and two others had survived the plane wreck but were stranded on a raft in the middle of the Pacific. She had only read a quarter of the book and was upset because one of the men ate all the food on the first night. Little did she realize that this was actually a good part of the book. Things got progressively worse for Louis when he is finally picked up by the Japanese and becomes a POW. Life in the Japanese prison camps was beyond awful. She has decided not to finish reading it.

Unbroken tells the story of Olympic athlete, WWII airman and POW, Louis Zamperini (still living at age 94). Hillenbrand (award-winning author of Seabiscuit) does a remarkable job of telling an incredible story with minute detail. She spent hours interviewing Louis, family, friends, veterans and others as well as doing a great deal of research. She produces a biography that reads more like a work of fiction and will have you hanging on to the edge of your seat. You know Louis is going to live through it but what you can't imagine is how. The odds are stacked against him but Louis survives and eventually triumphs.

Warning: Spoiler Alert! Skip this next paragraph if you would like.

I kept wondering what this book was going to have to do with my faith. I thought maybe something about perseverance. Then, toward the end you see Louis back home but in the grips of alcoholism, debt and post-traumatic stress disorder. His wife gets him to go hear Billy Graham and Billy's message changes Louis. He recalls promising God during his captivity that he would serve him the rest of his life if only God would get him out of his desperate situation. He also again hears what he believes is a heavenly choir singing just for him. He ends up returning home, dumping all his cigarettes, alcohol and never again having a flashback. God turned his life around at least twice, saving him from his imprisonment in Japan and his imprisonment to addition.

Unbroken made me wonder what prison I am living in today. Perhaps I am not still under the bondage of sin but maybe I too have PTSD: post-traumatic sin disorder. Am I living as a free person or as one still under the command of doom and death?

I highly recommend Unbroken!

Happy reading-


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