This post is brought to you by Saturday at work (and lunch time at work and my sincere hope that you’re not also at work). As your very own on-duty librarian, I humbly recommend a few books:
Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay: my first foray into World War II books for the year. Sad. Really sad. Interesting to see the French perspective.
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak: incredibly creative and well-written, wonderful story. Sad. Really sad. Interesting to see the perspective of German civilians at the time.
Unbroken: also wonderfully written, a very different side of the story than I normally see (from a POW on the Pacific Front). Sad. Really sad.
But do you know what’s different about Unbroken compared to other World War II stories I’ve read this year? It ended with hope. First, I was relieved to see that not every individual touched by World War II was totally destroyed. The other books had me concerned on that front. Then I realized exactly what made the difference.
(I know that I usually blog about pretty things and everyday things and food, but we’re about to venture into the spiritual beliefs zone. You can’t say I didn’t warn you.)
During all of that epic WWII reading, it became crystal clear that the hope in Unbroken came straight from the main character coming to know Jesus as his savior. He was freed from everything that had happened before and from his desire to get revenge for the worst of those moments. He found a hope and a future, and he was rescued. It was incredible to read through the pages of the biography and think, “Hey, what I believe in changed this man’s life exactly the way it’s supposed to.” After all of the sadness and unresolved pain in the other stories, the hope caught me off guard.
Don’t we all need to be rescued sometimes? Regardless of what you believe on the religion front, I think we can all agree that there are plenty of tragedies in the world, from the everyday variety to WWII-type tragedies. It was beautiful to see that rescue happen instead of watching another life disintegrate.
And for now, I might pick up a lighter book or two to break up the string of WWII stories. Thus saith the librarian.
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I too was surprised and heartened by the twist in Unbroken.