Thursday, January 12, 2012

Unbroken - A Sort of Book Review

I've been reading Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand for the past couple days. There has been a lot of talk about the book, how good it is, how everyone should read it, but I really didn't know what to expect. I don't read books about war just for the simple fact that I like my reading experience to leave me feeling satisfied and peaceful. Unbroken has not been that book.

Day one, the story immediately drew me in. I was interested and invested in Louie from the first chapter. He seemed like a good guy and I would love to see him run. As the story progressed, Louie goes into World War II. I was nervous. I don't know his story. Is he still alive? Does he survive the war? I was anxious and I had to keep reading. I am being good and not spoiling it by watching videos or interviews on YouTube. (I'm really proud of myself for that!)

Day two, Louie is way into the war. I cannot put my Kindle down and get irritated when my life interrupts my reading. Louie is flying missions and then, disaster! He ends up...well, I don't want to spoil it for you. He ends up becoming a POW in Japan. I won't say how. I stayed up past midnight reading this part of the book. I couldn't leave Louie in that awful place, being beaten and starved and in a place of horror. I finally had to let go and let myself sleep. My comforting thought was that he must have survived, right? Someone had to tell this story! But I dreamt of rats in my bed last night and even jumped out of bed, throwing my covers off, convinced I had felt something moving by my leg while I was sleeping. (that's normal, right? whatever I read or watch before I sleep ends up in my dreams. i know better than to read about a POW camp before bed!)

Day three of reading was today. I woke up and dug right in. Louie was still imprisoned and though I desperately wanted him to be released before I finished breakfast, he wasn't. In fact, his life was getting a lot worse. I had to leave him in that camp until the kids went to PE! It was hours! I was totally distracted and kept thinking, trying to figure out if he escapes or is rescued or is killed. I had to go back in! Professor X asked me if I was going for a run during PE. I thought for a millisecond and said, "No. I need to read". I need to run, but was choosing to read is what I should have said. I think Louie would have told me to run, but, oh well.

I sat in the van and read for an hour. Not only was he still in that hellish place when I had to stop, but he was wasting away. Some good soldiers had been killed. I kept thinking, dang, how long was this war? My dh reminded me of the atomic bombs and so I kept waiting for them to appear. Sigh. It wasn't until I was reading while I made dinner that the B29 planes were finally flying. At last! But then what? Rescue? Escape? I almost burned the pork chops! I kept going, flip a chop, read a page, flip a chop, read a page.

I am happy to report that I am now at a point where I can leave Louie and actually get something done. I can go about the rest of my day. I am thinking about even knitting before I go back in and read some more. I know that I can't read before bed again. I don't want to start my day with Gaga's demise. That was tough. I may even skip a day of reading.

This book is intense. It's a great story and I can't believe how much I have learned about World War II and airplanes. This was wholly unexpected! I think I can finish it this weekend. I am still hoping for that happy ending. I want Louie to get home.

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