ABOUT THE BOOK
Title: The Bright Unknown
Author: Elizabeth Byler Younts
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Genre: Literary Fiction
Release Date: October 22, 2019
This poignant and heartbreaking novel explores the power of resilience, the gift of friendship, and the divine beauty to be found in the big, bright world—if only we’re willing to look.
Pennsylvania, 1940s. The only life Brighton Friedrich has ever known is the one she has endured within the dreary walls of Riverside Home—the rural asylum where she was born. A nurse, Joann, has educated and raised Brighton, whose mother is a patient at the hospital. But Joann has also kept vital information from Brighton—secrets that if ever revealed would illuminate Brighton’s troubling past and the circumstances that confine her to Riverside. Brighton’s best friend is a boy she calls Angel, and as they grow up together and face the bleak future that awaits them, they determine to make a daring escape.
Nothing can prepare Brighton and Angel for life beyond Riverside’s walls. They have no legal identities, very little money, and only a few leads toward a safe place to land. As they struggle to survive in a world they’ve never seen before, they must rely on each other and the kindness of strangers—some of whom may prove more dangerous than the asylum they’ve fled.
Narrated in Elizabeth Byler Younts’s gorgeous style, The Bright Unknown is a sparkling search for answers, family, and a place to call home.
My review: This is a really open and honest book about the characters life, in the 1930’s and today. The story switches between the child’s view of her world inside the mental hospital and her adult life. The details shared are actually pretty hard to read, and made me feel quite sad for the system of dealing with people who are mental ill. But I feel the author had a significant story to tell and she was all in.
I would suggest that if mental illness is a struggle for you or a family member, this might not be the book for you, as it is so brutally honest. But it does give us some rays of hope, in the characters who care for these people and the extra measures of love that were offered.
Disclaimer: I received a digital copy of this book from the author. All opinions expressed are my own.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Elizabeth Byler Younts gained a worldwide audience through her first book, Seasons: A Real Story of an Amish Girl. She is also the author of the critically acclaimed novel The Solace of Water and the Promise of Sunrise series. Elizabeth lives in Central Pennsylvania with her husband, her two daughters, and a small menagerie of well-loved pets.
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