The Bright Unknown
The Bright Unknown   -     By: Elizabeth Blyer Younts
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The Bright Unknown

Thomas Nelson / 2019 / Paperback

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Product Description

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.

Product Information

Title: The Bright Unknown
By: Elizabeth Blyer Younts
Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 359
Vendor: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: 2019
Weight: 10 ounces
ISBN-13: 9780718075682
Stock No: WW075682

Publisher's Description

A sparkling search for answers, family, and a place to call home.

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, 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.

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 I knew when I read The Solace of Water. This was reinforced with my reading of her newest offering. Younts has given us a story which is at once powerful and compassionate, revealing and dignified, heartrending and lyric. Compelling and infused with hope of redemption, The Bright Unknown ushers readers on a journey of empathy. I, for one, am grateful to have read it." —Susie Finkbeiner

"As bold as it is beautiful, as haunting as it is full of hope, The Bright Unknown is a story that will latch onto the minds and hearts of readers, and not easily let go. With luscious language that gives birth to unforgettable characters, Younts is not afraid to explore the dark places for the sake of finding light. I could not put this novel down!" —Heidi Chiavaroli

  • Stand-alone historical novel set in the twentieth century
  • Book length: approximately 110K words
  • Includes discussion questions for book clubs

Author Bio

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 Carol Award–winning novel The Solace of Water, the critically acclaimed novel The Bright Unknown, and the Promise of Sunrise series. She has consulted on Amish lifestyle and the Pennsylvania Dutch dialect for two award-winning television shows. Elizabeth lives in Central Pennsylvania with her husband, two daughters, and a small menagerie of well-loved pets. Visit her online at ElizabethBylerYounts.com; Twitter: @ElizabethYounts; Facebook: AuthorElizabethBylerYounts; and Instagram: @ElizabethBylerYounts_author.

Editorial Reviews

Younts's successor to The Solace of Water (2018) has an enthralling foundation for its story, along with an appealing historical setting and themes of friendship and love amidst oppression . . . the captivating plot will engage readers.
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.

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