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When I made my reading list at the beginning of the year, several people recommended that I read Unbroken Laura Hillenbrand, which is the story of Louie Zamperini. I had never heard of him, but others’ reviews were so good that I had to read it.
Wow. I’m so glad I did!
This book was engaging from the very first few pages. Immediately, I wanted to know what happens next and keep reading. Every night I couldn’t wait to finish my work so I could settle down with the book, and many nights I stayed up much too late because I couldn’t put the book down.
A Troubled Childhood
Zamperini had a rough childhood, not because of a bad family but because he was a high energy child. (He once jumped off a moving train, for instance, and stood smiling waiting for the train to back up and his family to help him back on.) He routinely stole just for the thrill of it.
While his behavior might have been annoying when he was young, by the time he was in high school, the repercussions were becoming serious. He was heading down the wrong path–quickly. His older brother, Pete, convinced the school principal to give Louie a second chance. Pete took Louie under his wing and began working with him so he could run track. Pete was a champion runner and thought that Louie had the potential to be better than him, and he was right.
Surviving Despite All Odds
Louie came of age during troubling times in history including Hitler’s rise and World War II. These events swept Louie up, and his life took several dramatic turns that no one could have imagined.
Because I’m someone who always follows the rules and doesn’t like to take risks, I marveled at Louie’s story and his blatant disregard for the rules of society and even the law. Yet, ironically, those very traits are the ones that helped Louie persevere during nearly impossible situations in which many others would not have survived.
If you like television shows like I Survived, you’ll love this book. Honestly, I’m not sure how Louie survived some of the things he went through. If I didn’t know the book was non-fiction, I would think the author was stretching the bounds of believability.
If you like survival stories or history, you’ll love this book. Louie’s story is truly an inspirational one as well as one about faith, and the desire to live, and the importance of mindset to your success in life.
On the Mom’s Plans’ scale, I give this book 5 out of 5 stars. *****