Length: 155 pages
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Unbreakable is the autobiography of Mangte Chungneijang Mary Kom, popularly known in the world of boxing as M.C. Mary Kom. Five times winner of the World Boxing Championship and Olympic Bronze Medalist, Mary Kom comes from a humble background. Her autobiography relates her journey from the fields where she helped her father, to the boxing ring where she found her passion, aided all the way by the people she loved and the mentors on who she relied. Told in first person, Unbreakable is a story straight from the heart of one of the greatest woman boxer’s of the world.
Unbreakable is the first autobiography I have read, and to be very honest, the writing style takes some getting used to. There are many things about the book itself that doesn’t add much to its rating. It is quite haphazardly written, in that it doesn’t follow any real chronological sequence of events. While you get to read a lot about the many competitions and events of which Mary Kom was a part, it doesn’t follow a dateline, making it a tad confusing to really understand her list of achievements. However, that doesn’t make them any less impressive. Then there is the fact that it mentions many names out of nowhere, only to address some of them at a later stage, and leave many of them unheard of again. This kind of leaves you with a feeling of wanting more, and all these points were the reasons I would have given this book a 3 or 3.5 rating.
But what pushes that to a well deserved 4 star rating is the story of Mary Kom itself. As you get used to the writing style and read on, you see a person forming through all the information that you receive – a person who followed her heart and triumphed in many ways in the face of insurmountable odds. What really takes you in is the true from the heart feeling that the book gives you. It is an unabashed, no holds barred telling of Mary Kom’s life. She discloses all her desires, what makes her push on, what gave her courage when things seemed impossible, and even touches on the things she fears, her weaknesses, and her failures – all told from her heart. But the best thing about the book is her open and unconditional love for the man who became her husband and support, her children who became her strength, and her family who stood by her in the bleakest and brightest of times. Mary Kom openly expresses her gratitude to every person, however small or big their contribution may be to her success, and that makes the book a truly inspirational read.
I recommend Unbreakable to anyone who faces a difficult time, however small or large that hurdle may be, and to everyone who has a goal of any kind. The book teaches you the many principles and a way of thinking that makes the impossible seem possible, and can go a long way in making you push beyond the odds. Because, at the end of it all, Mary Kom’s story will make you believe in your own willpower and in the ability to get that at which you set your heart – just as she did, and continues to do every day.