Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand is a true story about an Olympian that becomes a prisoner of war during Workd War II. This book is such a great depiction of the power of perseverance and the strength of a person. In the beginning of the story, the reader meets Louis Zamperini, a young and reckless boy from an Italian family. Louis is always getting in trouble but with the help of his older brother he is able to turn his reckless angst into skill by becoming a star on his varsity track team. Booming with natural talent and passion, Louis trains and eventually goes to the Okympics. What is so great about this story is that it is less about Louis as an Olympian and more about his character over all. After he goes to the Olympics he enlists and his plane is shot down in the pacific. Louis and his two comrades are forced to endure hellish conditions and excruciating elements for a total of 47 days before being captured by the enemy. The time he spends in the pacific is some of the most beautiful writing in the book because it shows the transformation of Louis into the person he will be for the rest of his life, his reliance on faith, and his determination to live. When he is taken as a POW he is singled out because of his status as an Olympian. Refusing special treatment, he endures brutal punishment at the camp further proving his will to persevere. Louis becomes the target of a military leader called the Bird, who tortures him mercilessly while he is moved from camp to camp. Consistently demonstrating his drive and passion for life he eventually lives and is freed. The end of the book is concerned with Louis’s ability to let go of the pain he suffered from in war and continuing his life now that he is free again.
Overall this book is an amazing lesson in human strength and the fact that it is true makes it all the more impressive. I would recommend this book to anyone and will certainly carry the lessons it teaches with me.