Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

About the Book

On a May afternoon in 1943, an Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood. Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared. It was that of a young lieutenant, the plane’s bombardier, who was struggling to a life raft and pulling himself aboard. So began one of the most extraordinary odysseys of the Second World War.

The lieutenant’s name was Louis Zamperini. In boyhood, he’d been a cunning and incorrigible delinquent, breaking into houses, brawling, and fleeing his home to ride the rails. As a teenager, he had channeled his defiance into running, discovering a prodigious talent that had carried him to the Berlin Olympics and within sight of the four-minute mile. But when war had come, the athlete had become an airman, embarking on a journey that led to his doomed flight, a tiny raft, and a drift into the unknown.

Ahead of Zamperini lay thousands of miles of open ocean, leaping sharks, a foundering raft, 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, and humor; brutality with rebellion. His fate, whether triumph or tragedy, would be suspended on the fraying wire of his will.


War Brides by Helen Bryan

About the Book

As evacuation gets underway and Britain waits for the Luftwaffe to arrive, the lives of five very different women are about to collide in the sleepy little village of Crowmarsh Priors.

Evangeline has eloped from New Orleans with naval captain Richard Fairfax. A Sussex village is about as far away from home as she can possibly imagine, but brings her nearer to her true love—Laurent, who has fled to France.

Alice is resigned to life as the parish spinster, but the war will bring her friendships and passion she could never have foreseen.

Elsie leaves her East End home at fifteen, to become an under-house maid for Lady Marchmount. She soon catches the eye of another young evacuee—Bernie Carpenter.

Tanni has fled from Vienna, and arrives in Crowmarsh Priors with her newborn son, not knowing if her family are alive or if she will ever see them again.

Frances is to see out the war with her godmother, Lady Marchmont. She has lived a carefree life of privilege, but now her desire to help her friend, Tanni, leads her into a whole new world of danger and excitement.

Together these five women will face hardship, passion and danger. They form a bond that lasts for the rest of their lives and sees them through their darkest hours.

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce

About the Book

Harold Fry is convinced that he must deliver a letter to an old friend in order to save her, meeting various characters along the way and reminiscing about the events of his past and people he has known, as he tries to find peace and acceptance.

Recently retired, sweet, emotionally numb Harold Fry is jolted out of his passivity by a letter from Queenie Hennessy, an old friend, who he hasn't heard from in twenty years. She has written to say she is in hospice and wanted to say goodbye. Leaving his tense, bitter wife Maureen to her chores, Harold intends a quick walk to the corner mailbox to post his reply but instead, inspired by a chance encounter, he becomes convinced he must deliver his message in person to Queenie—who is 600 miles away—because as long as he keeps walking, Harold believes that Queenie will not die.