Louie goes through a
lot. He's put on a plane even though he suffers airsickness.
Almost crash lands once. Does
crash land a second time. Survives forty-six days at sea. Gets
captured by the Japanese. Shuffles from one POW camp to another. Suffers an
injury that ends his running career. Develops a drinking problem. Almost gets
We need to take a breath.
Oh—and through half of that, he's pursued by a cruel
sociopath nicknamed the Bird, who is determined to destroy Louie's body and
But throughout all of it, Louie perseveres. He says to
himself, "[The Bird] cannot break me" (4.30.11). And what is
something that will not break? It's Unbroken.
Despite suffering intense PTSD after the end of the war, Louie
finds strength in faith and realizes that "He was not the worthless,
broken, forsaken man that the Bird had striven to make of him. […] He was a new
creation" (5.38.46). Way to take charge of your own identity, Louie.
And although the book focuses on Louie, many people remain
unbroken throughout: Phil. Phil's fiancée. Louie's family. World War II was a time of great horror, but it was also a time of great heroism and
courage—and those are brought to the forefront in this book.