STORIES FROM A TIME OF WAR
THE SECOND WORLD WAR IN FICTION & NONFICTION
This month in the April A to Z Challenge, I am posting about books, fiction and nonfiction that are about or set in the Second World War. The war and the people who experienced it have stories to tell and these stories are so overwhelming they lend themselves to greatness. I encourage you to sample some of these stories. I promise you will not regret taking the time. To help me develop an alphabetical list for this challenge, I used Goodreads.com. Did you know that there are more than 883 fiction and 480 nonfiction books in this genre on the website’s Listopia as voted on by members? That is a lot of stories and facts just waiting for us to explore.
Can you remember a time you read a book and the scenes described were so vivid that you were almost there with the characters? Did a story ever make you so angry, you don’t know how the world could have ever moved on from such attrocity? That was what reading Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand was for me. With a little time, I was able to put Louis Zamperini’s story in perspective and not develop a lasting permanent hatred of the Japanese; but I could see how anyone who experienced what he did would. Somehow he survived and found a way to forgive. If you have not read this book and you think you will, do not see the movie. As movies go, it is OK but it doesn’t come close to doing the book justice.
Unbroken is the life story of Louis “Louie” Zamperini, an Olympic runner and military aviator in World War II (WWII). He survived being lost at sea and years of horrific abuse as a prisoner of war (POW) in Japan. While on a search and rescue mission in 1943, Louie’s plane crashed into the Pacific Ocean. Ultimately only Louie and one other man survived more than a month lost at sea. They were captured by Japanese troops and sent to POW camps in Japan. During the next two years, Louie endured physical and psychological torture at the hands of his captors. Finally liberated in 1945, Louie returned to America, where he married—and struggled with alcoholism and untreated post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In 1949, through the ministry of Reverend Billy Graham, Louie became a Christian and began a full recovery from his emotional wounds, which included finding the strength to forgive his captors. He spent the rest of his life leading a nonprofit organization that helped at-risk boys and also worked as an inspirational speaker.
Another movie is being made that tells Louis story after he returned from the POW camp and eventually found redemption through the minstry of Reverend Billy Graham which is the second part of the book. It will be entitled Unbroken: Path to Redemption and scheduled for release in October 2018.