Author: Laura Hillenbrand
Recommended by: Kelly Fraser, Okotoks Public Library biography collection manager
Description: As a teenager, Louis Zamperini channeled his defiance into running, a talent that had carried him to the Berlin Olympics. When the Second World War began, the athlete became an airman, embarking on a journey that led to a doomed flight on a May afternoon in 1943. When his Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean, against all odds, Zamperini survived adrift on a foundering life raft. Ahead of Zamperini lay thousands of miles of open ocean, leaping sharks, thirst and starvation, enemy aircraft, and, beyond, a trial even greater. Driven to the limits of endurance, Zamperini would answer desperation with ingenuity, suffering with hope, resolve, humor and brutality with rebellion. His fate, whether triumph or tragedy, would be suspended on the fraying wire of his will. This story is an unforgettable testament to the resilience of the human mind, body and spirit.
“When we read biographies, there is a sense of knowing others have complex lives and thoughts just like us, and we may even resonate with another’s circumstances that are very close to our own, such as depression, addiction, grief, a challenging marriage, a joyful triumph or loving a relative with Alzheimers. We learn about other’s lives, their inner thoughts, solutions to problems, outlooks on life and we gain a sense of being in this human experience of struggles and joys together.” ~ Kelly Fraser