Unbroken, by Laura Hillenbrand

October 2, 2014 § Leave a comment

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I find it difficult to get myself to read something that I know is going to be sad. Or hard. One thing that happened when I had kids was that I gave myself permission to not read things like that in my free time. I know that might be shallow or the easy way out but it’s just for now. Just for when I am lucky to find 20 priceless minutes to read each day and don’t want to spend them being sad.

Despite this rule I still do sometimes read sad or hard things, especially when I’m motivated to participate in my family reunion’s book discussion. That’s why I read Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that this book was funny. Not off-the-wall funny (that would have been completely inappropriate) but spoon-full-of-sugar funny and for that I am thankful. I enjoyed reading this book. And. This book was sad and hard.

In addition to being funny, this book stood out to me for its vivid imagery. Almost immediately I was right there, despite being a person who (thank the Lord) has never experienced the atrocities described. I read through these pages with a gaping open mouth, horrified by the things I learned about being a POW in Japan.

It was also interesting to compare this story with the one I heard when my husband and I took a tour of Hiroshima while I was studying in Japan. Talk about different perspectives on the exact same event. That realization alone was worth it.

If I’m ever asked to give feedback on this book, (which we all know I won’t be so I’ll just offer it up to you since you’re a captive audience) I’d say this book was way too long. It just kept going. And going.

Yes, there were parts that were just too long because they were depressing. But you know the tone a writer takes when they’re concluding? You know? The tone where the writing gets lighter and things start getting summarized and loose ends get wrapped up? Well, this book took that tone with 100 pages left to go. I kept thinking I was going to run into the appendix or works cited but that never happened. There was no appendix. It was just concluding that whole time.

I think this book is one to read. Especially if you’re looking for something that will help you appreciate the Veterans in your life. Just couple it with something light. Either that or read it fast and maybe even skip the end. Although who actually does that?

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