Book Review: Unbroken — A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption

Recommended. An epic tale of God’s redemptive pursuit of a forgotten legend.

I’ve never read Seabiscuit, but a mere five pages into Unbroken I found myself hungering for more of Laura Hillenbrand’s writing. I’ve never been one to read historical narratives, but Hillenbrand made me immediately crave more of the 1920s and 30s and 40s that she so vividly brings to life. I can’t stress enough how wonderful of a writer Hillenbrand is, nor can I give enough respect to the meticulous research that went into so carefully reconstructing the world of Louie Zamperini.

If you’re like me, you probably haven’t ever heard of Louie Zamperini–but folks who were alive and aware during the 30s and 40s would probably have been very familiar with him. On pace to be the first man to break the four-minute mile, Zamperini was an American running sensation with high hopes for gold at the 1940 Olympics. When the onset of World War II dashed Louie’s dreams, he resignedly joined the Air Force. Several years later, Louie again made the news: the bomber he had been flying in had been lost in the Pacific Ocean; Louie was MIA. What follows is the epic tale of Louie’s record-breaking stint on a life raft, his trials in notoriously cruel Japanese POW camps, and his life after the war.

What I didn’t expect when I began to read this book was how clear the hand of God would be throughout the tale. I can’t recommend this book heartily enough — you won’t be able to put it down, and, at it’s end, you will be thankful for the God who can turn the worst of trials into diamonds.


About davestuartjr
Dave Stuart Jr. is a full-time teacher who writes about becoming better, saner teachers at He is a follower of Jesus Christ, a husband to Crystal, and a father to Hadassah, Laura, and Marlena.

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