Bright Unknown by Elizabeth Byler Younts
A compelling tale of curiosity, belonging, and the quest for a place to call home unfolds in the heart of Pennsylvania during the 1940s. Brighton Friedrich lives a sheltered life within the oppressive confines of Riverside Home, a rural asylum where she was born. Raised by a nurse named Joann, Brighton soon discovers that important details about her past have been kept hidden from her.
Joined by her closest friend, a boy she affectionately calls Angel, Brighton embarks on a daring escape from Riverside’s walls. However, their journey to freedom proves to be more challenging than they anticipated. Struggling to survive in a foreign world without legal identities or sufficient resources, they are forced to rely on the kindness of strangers, who may pose unforeseen dangers.
In this poignant and heartrending novel, Elizabeth Byler Younts narrates a tale of resilience, friendship, and the profound beauty that resides in the vast unknown. Through her captivating prose, she reminds us that our past shapes us but doesn’t define us, and that love provides the courage to live authentically.
Praise for The Bright Unknown:
“A beautifully woven story of a young woman’s journey to understanding that the past shapes us but does not define us, and that it is love that gives us the courage to live like we believe it. With prose that is luminous and lyrical, The Bright Unknown is a compelling read from the first page to the last.” –Susan Meissner
“With evocative prose and rich detail, Younts draws us into the humanity and hurt of a little-examined chapter in American history. Her poignant details will break open your heart, but, with skillful beauty, she makes Brighton–and us–whole again in this wonderful story of hope, grace, and love.” –Katherine Reay
“Elizabeth Byler Younts writes with heart, a poet’s pen, and courage. This is evident in both her previous work, The Solace of Water, and her latest offering, The Bright Unknown. Younts has crafted a powerful and compassionate story, revealing the inherent dignity and resilience of her characters. Infused with hope and redemption, this novel takes readers on an empathetic journey that is both compelling and thought-provoking.” –Susie Finkbeiner
“As bold as it is beautiful, as haunting as it is full of hope, The Bright Unknown latches onto the minds and hearts of readers, refusing to let go. Younts fearlessly explores the depths of darkness in search of the faint glimmers of light. With its unforgettable characters and lush prose, this novel is impossible to put down!” –Heidi Chiavaroli
This stand-alone historical novel set in the twentieth century spans approximately 110,000 words, making it a captivating choice for book clubs. It also includes discussion questions to encourage deeper exploration and engagement with the story.
Weekly Wrap-Up #19: Reading 4 Books – Including The Bright Unknown by Elizabeth Byler Younts
Hello everyone, my name is Miram and I have a deep passion for books. In 2021, I set a personal challenge for myself to read 365 books in a year. As of today, which is day 134, I have read 130 books. Although I am a bit behind schedule, I’m not too concerned. Each week, I share a wrap-up article where I talk about the books I’ve read in the previous week. This past week, I had ambitious plans for reading, but unfortunately, work and writing took precedence. Nonetheless, I remain optimistic and hope to catch up soon.
In this week’s wrap-up, I’ll be discussing the books I read from Saturday, May 8th to Friday, May 14th. The first book I finished during this time was “When We Were Young” by Karen Kingsbury. I used to be a big fan of Kingsbury’s work, but lately I’ve found her books to be somewhat repetitive. Surprisingly, this particular book exceeded my expectations. It beautifully captured the theme of time travel and the realization of the consequences of our actions. I was pleasantly surprised by the depth and the way the story was crafted.
The second book I completed this week was “The Bride’s Unknown” by Elizabeth Wyler Yawns. Since I will be discussing this book in an upcoming podcast with a friend, I won’t share my thoughts here to avoid spoilers for Dutch listeners. Rest assured, I will delve into it further in a future article or video.
I also managed to finish “Tears of the Giraffe” by Alexander McCall Smith, the second book in the “No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency” series. I adore this series because it offers a glimpse into the culture of Botswana. The mysteries are not too intense, allowing me to enjoy them before bed. It was a truly satisfying read.
Lastly, I completed “Joshua” by Evert Goat, a children’s biblical fiction book published in 1995. As I’m currently working on a biblical fiction project myself, I turned to this book for inspiration. The timing and setting aligned with my own project, providing the motivation I needed to continue my work.
Although I also listened to an audiobook this week, it was a non-fiction biography with lengthy chapters. Since I prefer listening to audiobooks during walks, I didn’t always have enough time to finish a chapter. However, I found the book fascinating and it added to my reading experience.
How are you all doing with your reading challenges? Have you come across any remarkable books lately? Let me know in the comments. If you want to follow me on my journey to read 365 books, consider subscribing to my blog for regular updates. Normally, I release videos on the second and last Thursdays of each month, but this week I have an additional book haul video for you. Make sure to check it out if you’re interested. If you enjoyed this content, please give it a thumbs up. Happy reading!