Guest Post: Elizabeth Byler Younts & The Bright Unknown

Posted November 1, 2019 by meezcarrie in Author Interview, Christian, Elizabeth Byler Younts, historical / 1 Comment

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 UnknownTitle: The Bright Unknown by 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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Elizabeth Byler Younts

Award-winning author Elizabeth Byler Younts writes historical fiction for Harper Collins/Thomas Nelson. She 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, 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.

CONNECT WITH ELIZABETH: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest

  1. I acted in an indie movie in my early 20s and it won 3rd place in a small film fest in Michigan. My name was Julie.
  2. I wrote my first novel when I was 11 and titled it Randi’s Will. It is awful. LOL
  3. I’m a die-hard fan of Tomato Pie. It is pure joy.
  4. From 2004-2018 I’ve lived in 7 houses.
  5. I’m letting my silver hair grow out! I’ve dyed my hair red for 26 years and after I turned 41 I decided I was ready for a change. I found my first silver hair when I was 15 and have been dying it ever since, this decision was a long time coming. You can watch my silver hair growth on my Instagram page and my author page on FaceBook.

(in no particular order)

“Expectations can be dangerous things, and freedom isn’t easily defined.”

“Hope.” I repeated the name, and for the first time I realized that sometimes the very best things in our lives are those things that take time to unfold.

Hope and sorrow braided together into one path. But standing still was not an option.

The silence bears aged voices that say my name in that abiding and surviving way that reminds me that souls are eternal and our stories don’t cease to exist after death.

“Don’t forget the history of what has happened at Riverside and other facilities like it, and don’t let history repeat itself. And when you meet someone who might struggle with mental illness, see the person behind the frightened eyes. Not just the diagnosis.”

I wrote and edited this book to a playlist on Amazon Prime called—For Reading: Literary Fiction. Check it out! I can’t listen to music with words when I write because I’ll just sing instead, but instrumental, especially movie soundtracks, work for me. But I also often have the TV running if I’m not in the mood for music, I need some noise in order to concentrate.

So, Tomato pie has nothing to do with the book directly, but I ate A LOT of it while I wrote and edited this book! You can find the recipe I use here:
**However, I eliminate the basil and onions…I like those things but it’s just not how I eat Tomato Pie. I’d love to know if you try it! Take a picture and tag me!

These photos represent Brighton. She was born in an asylum for the mentally insane. She was loved and cared for by a nurse, Joann, but even still she had to endure life amidst illness, turmoil, and death. She’s an inquisitive child and doesn’t even understand that she is growing up differently than other American girls for many years. When Brighton begins to learn that there are secrets around her life in the asylum and why she’s still there with her mother she begins to formulate a way to escape with her two best friends. Brighton has the heart and soul of a survivor and even when it seems like giving up is all she can do, she gets up and keeps moving ahead. Brighton never lets go of the hope in her heart. The reader will get the chance also to take a glimpse back when Brighton, who now goes by a new name. They will follow another journey where promises that were broken can be kept again and where what was lost can be found.


This is from the book but not my words. The words of Emily Dickinson hold a special weight for me in writing this book. “I’m out with lanterns, looking for myself.” Emily Dickinson. I think there are pieces and parts of us all that can connect with this quote.

This was the hardest book to write this far in my career. Of course, in researching I learned a lot about the era and how those who were deemed mentally unstable were treated. But what was more impacting to me was that as I wrote each scene and saw and felt such despair for things that are real—I still had to look into every corner, through broken windows, or on the other side of the door to find where the hope resided. Writing this book built my muscle of finding hope and light in the situations that we are often surrounded with and how God is within each scene, even if just in a sliver of light.

Readers should expect a story that might not be a “beach read” type of book. There are darker elements of reality inside and a deep look into the human soul. The Bright Unknown is a journey story about what it means to belong when you’re an outcast and what it means to know yourself. How fragile is our identity? But every glimpse of light carries hope and the Father of Lights that is filtered through every part of this story.

Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!


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