“An Olympian’s Journey from Airman to Castaway to Captive.” This subtitle perfectly describes Laura Hillenbrand’s Unbroken; engaging yet shocking yet inspiring at the same time. In this biographical novel, Hillenbrand shares the incredible story of Louis Zamperini. She writes from a third person omniscient point of view, including the thoughts and stories of side characters later interviewed. Her voice is a highlight of the book, as she describes not only Louis’s actions but the actions of those around him and even those not around him. For example, Hillenbrand explains what Louis, his friends, Hitler, a random sailor, and even a dog, are doing at the exact same moment. This powerful effect emphasizes that the entire world was deeply affected by the war. Hillenbrand’s writing has opened my eyes to life’s tragedies, especially those that come with war, and how brave individuals can make a difference.
I also really enjoy the character Phil. Although he was recently introduced, his relationship with Louis seems tantamount to gold. Phil reminds me of Reuven from The Chosen. Both characters are loyal friends and contain astonishing bravery. As the pilot, Phil affects Louis’s life, and will take any step to save him. Reuven is also a strong, courageous friend who took the extra steps to help Danny confront his father, sending him down a bright path.
Usually I am not a fan of non-fiction but so far I have immensely enjoyed Unbroken. Louis’s determined yet mischievous character makes him loveable, yet leads me to question if he will guide himself down a more troublesome road. I am excited to continue reading and discover where Louis and his crew’s footsteps lead.