Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Review: The Bright Unknown by Elizabeth Byler Younts

The Bright Unknown JustRead Blog Tour

Welcome to the Blog Tour for The Bright Unknown by Elizabeth Byler Younts, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!


The Bright Unknown 
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.

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The Bright Unknown by Elizabeth Byler Younts is a rare gem, a masterpiece of lyrical writing, rich characterization, sublime storytelling, emotion and hope. I was about to give up on ever finding a novel of this high quality in the Christian fiction genre. It’s not an easy read nor a fast one, but rather a compelling read that begs to be experienced. Kindness, caring, and innocence are contrasted with ignorance and greed. With a timeless relevancy, it forces us to examine the way we perceive those who are different, to see beyond the diagnosis. My mind, heart and emotions were captured with the first sentence and never wavered.

The Bright Unknown is Brighton’s story, a young girl born and raised at the Riverside Home for the Insane in the 1940s era. Life there was all she had known and was therefore normal, until suddenly it wasn’t – all because of a girl named Grace. Brighton’s friendship with another resident, who she named Angel, is priceless. The plight of the patients is hard to read, for in a time when ignorance abounded regarding mental illness, some were there simply because their families wanted them committed.

One strength of this story is the author’s exquisite prose and I savored every word and nuance of expression. This is just one example … “The flowering weeping willow’s boughs reached for me in the summery breath. It called out to me. Come to me. Let my delicate white tears fall over you. I extended my hand, even though I knew the branches were too far away to let their beauty cry over me.”

The Bright Unknown may seem like a dark story – and it is – but themes of hope, forgiveness and redemption are woven throughout. The conclusion is so very satisfying. The writing of Elizabeth Byler Younts is not to be missed, and The Bright Unknown goes on my “best of the best” list.

Very highly recommended.

I received a copy of this book through JustRead Tours and Thomas Nelson. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.


Elizabeth Byler Younts

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.  

CONNECT WITH ELIZABETH: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest

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1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the review. I never would have guessed how good this book is.