Welcome to the Celebrate Lit Blog Tour for The Bright Unknown! If you haven’t read anything by Elizabeth Byler Younts, then I highly encourage you to do so!! She is such a wonderful author that writes powerful stories!!
Book: The Bright Unknown
Author: Elizabeth Byler Younts
Genre: Historical Romance
Release Date: October 22, 2019
Two young friends embark upon an epic journey across 1940s middle America in search of answers, a family, and a place to call home.
The only kind of life Brighton Turner understands is the one she has endured within the dreary walls of a rural Pennsylvania asylum. A nurse has thoughtfully educated and raised Brighton, but she has also kept vital information from her in order to keep her close. Brighton befriends a boy whom she calls Angel—he doesn’t know his name—and as the two of them learn more about what lies beyond the walls they call home, they fight for their release and eventually escape.
However, the world outside the only place they’ve ever known is not what they expect. They have no real names, no money, and no help—and they must rely upon the kindness of strangers as they walk and hitchhike from Pennsylvania to Michigan to find their last hope of a home.
This heartbreaking journey, narrated in gorgeous prose, explores what it means to belong—and to scour the universe with fresh eyes for the brightness within.
Click here to grab your copy!
Elizabeth Byler Younts certainly knows how to make a BIG impact on a reader’s heart with her stories. The Bright Unknown is thought provoking, moving, and shines a light on some issues that perhaps are too often overlooked by many. It is not a light read by any stretch of the imagination, but it is a book that should be read by all. There were times were I had to stop reading, and just soak in the chapter. You see, I wasn’t just reading the book, I was experiencing it.
Brighton was such a fascinating character, and her journey was one that I couldn’t pull away from. Here is a young girl, living in a place she shouldn’t be, but just adapting to life. It was all she ever knew, and with the help of a friend or two somehow made it manageable. But that did not negate all that she saw and experienced while she was there. It was an eye opening experience for me, as a reader. Did I think all these things probable happened to mental health patients back in those days? It is certainly a good possibility, especially remembering how “healthcare” was so different back then. I am not going to lie, some of it was quite disturbing, but Younts somehow manages to poetically and beautifully write the scenes in a way that urge you to keep going.
One bright part was seeing Brighton in “current day”, which was 1990 for the purpose of this book. It kind of shows the reader early on that there was light at the end of her tunnel, we just had to read the journey it took her to get there. And frankly, these little blurbs of present day material were just what I needed to have an emotional break from the turmoil that was going on inside my heart. Not trying to discourage anyone at all from reading this – I think it’s good to read stories that stir up feelings inside of us and really speak to our emotions.
Readers, have your tissues handy, pour some hot chocolate, and find a comfy reading spot. I think you’ll find yourselves drawn to Brighton and her journey. I know I was. I’m still thinking about them in fact! I can see this on the best of 2019 lists for many readers. It’s that good! I received a complimentary copy of this book. I was not required to write a favorable review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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.
The Bright Unknown was born out of a seed of a true story that my husband’s grandmother, Gigi, shared with me. Gigi told me that when she was a young girl living in Oklahoma her mom had a friend who was a nurse. During one of her visits over coffee she would occasionally talk about her patients at the local asylum. One particular story really intrigued Gigi and even decades later she still remembered it. The story was about a patient who had a baby while at the hospital and while Gigi remembers nothing about the patient or the child, she knew that when she moved out of Oklahoma several years later that asylum-born girl was around eighteen and still living within the walls of that hospital along with her patient-mother.
That story stuck with me. This trapped girl and her mother wouldn’t let me go. I began to wonder over her and ask all sorts of unanswered questions. Slowly but surely my imagined story for her came to life. Layer after layer I learned about Brighton, my name for her. I also named two characters after Gigi, her first and middle, as an honor to her. This story was born from a memory but now these characters feel real and present in my life today and I hope you will journey with them in The Bright Unknown.
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