I’ve had regular-book ADD for awhile (read: starting books and not finishing them) but my audiobook commitment remains strong (read: because otherwise I would lose my mind during the commute).
Unbroken is the story of Louis Zamperini, an Olympic runner drafted into the US Air Force during World War II. In May 1943 his bomber crashes into the Pacific and he’s lost at sea with 2 other crewmates. After surviving over 40+ days at sea he is finally picked up by the Japanese. He spends the next 2 years in various POW camps in the South Pacific and later in Japan.
This story was so riveting in parts that I would roll up to my garage and want to sit there awhile longer to hear what happens next (even after taking 45 minutes to go 13 miles!). I say ‘in parts’ because there are also some parts where hearing the endless brutality was so heartbreaking and so infuriating that turning the car off was a relief.
There is so much terror in this book. Imagining a day to day existence where you are regularly beaten and starved, are struggling with dysentery, being used for medical experiments, and just generally treated as less than human. It makes you wonder how far we can go from our basic sense of humanity.
Cliche as it is to say there is also so much triumph. The idea that you can bear so much and survive, that in the worst of situations there are still people who show bravery, generosity, and compassion. That you can find your way back to yourself through faith, family, friends, and outright resilience.
There is hope always.
Unbroken by Lauren Hillenbrand (Amazon)