Saturday, November 09, 2019

Younts' Newest Thought-Provoking, Faith-Affirming, and Hope-Filled

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Brighton Friedrich has never lived in a real home and has no idea what "normal" family life looks like.  Born at Riverside Home for the Insane to a single, catatonic mother, she has lived in the facility ever since.  Cared for by a nurse who has educated and reared her on the sly, Brighton has grown up feeling loved, but the older she gets, the more trapped she begins to feel.  Along with her best friend—an albino who didn't have a name before she dubbed him "Angel"—Brighton longs to break free of the asylum and experience the world outside its gates.  When she learns that her beloved "Nursey" has been keeping secrets about both her and Angel, Brighton no longer feels as if she has a choice.  She and Angel have to leave Riverside.  No matter what.

Completely unprepared for life on the outside, Brighton and Angel must find their way in a strange and terrifying new world.  As they stumble along a perilous path from Pennsylvania to Michigan, they will find adventure, danger, and other heartbreaking obstacles that put their friendship to the ultimate test.  Can two misfits who have never known "normal" find the answers they seek in a hostile world that threatens to tear them apart at every turn?

Ever since I read The Solace of Water last year, I've been a big fan of Elizabeth Byler Younts.  Raised in an Amish community, which she remains close to even though her family left the faith when she was a child, Younts has written a handful of lovely, authentic, faith-promoting books featuring Amish characters.  The Bright Unknown is a bit of a departure (although an Amish family does have a small cameo in the novel), but it still showcases Younts' trademarks—lush prose, sympathetic characters, and a gentle tone that makes her stories shine with empathy, humanity, and heart.  As heartbreaking as this tale is, it's also thought-provoking, faith-promoting (without being heavy-handed or cheesy), and hope-filled.  I adored it.

(Readalikes:  Hm, I can't think of anything.  Can you?)

Grade:


If this were a movie, it would be rated:


for violence and disturbing subject matter

To the FTC, with love:  I received an e-ARC of The Bright Unknown from the generous folks at Thomas Nelson via those at Celebrate Lit in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you!

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Want other opinions on The Bright Unknown?  Follow along on the book's blog tour, hosted by Celebrate Lit, by clicking the links below:

The Power of Words, November 2
A Reader’s Brain, November 2
Inspired by fiction, November 3
Fiction Aficionado, November 4
Genesis 5020, November 4
janicesbookreviews, November 5
All-of-a-kind Mom, November 5
The Becca Files, November 7
Bigreadersite, November 7
Connect in Fiction, November 8
Moments, November 9
Simple Harvest Reads, November 10
Betti Mace, November 10
Pause for Tales, November 11
Inklings and notions, November 11
Mary Hake, November 11
Texas Book-aholic, November 12
Hallie Reads, November 12
For Him and My Family, November 13
Remembrancy, November 14
mpbooks, November 14
Godly Book Reviews, November 15

4 comments:

  1. Another author I need to check out. I like the sound of this book and The Solace of Water, too.

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  2. An "A" ?! So rarely seen on your blog, you must have really enjoyed this one. What a scary thought to make one's way through the world with no knowledge of it.

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  3. this sounds like a lovely, tender story. definitely a good break from the usual.

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  4. Great review Susan. It sounds like this one has all the boxes checked.

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