Book Reviews of The Bright Forever

The Bright Forever
The Bright Forever
Author: Lee Martin
ISBN-13: 9780307209863
ISBN-10: 0307209865
Publication Date: 4/4/2006
Pages: 288
Rating:
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 205

3.6 stars, based on 205 ratings
Publisher: Three Rivers Press
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

61 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed The Bright Forever on + 23 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 16
This book was extremely touching for me. It really made me reflect on the "if only I had done or said this" moments we all have in our lives. The story is based on the disappearance of a 9 year old girl and it follows the actions and emotions of each of the characters involved in her disappearance. I loved the way it painted the pictures of these people. Even those responsible were not made out to be truly "evil" only misguided to a point that brough about a tragedy. This book is definately one of the best books I have read so far this year.
reviewed The Bright Forever on + 9 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 11
Lee Martin's second novel, âThe Bright Forever,â is a captivating story about the disappearance of nine-year-old Katie Mackey from a small town in Indiana thirty years ago. Like the comparable âMystic River,â âForeverâ is told from the points of view of the different townspeople and neighbors of the missing girl, each chapter being a first-person account from each person as to his or her version of the events that fateful night.

Martin has created an exquisite page-turner, filled with small-town sensibilities, with the requisite small-town atrocities. One does not expect a heartbreaking crime to happen to them, especially in such a trusting town. In a time when people slept with their front doors unlocked and kept a lazy eye on their children, Katie's disappearance affects all who knew and knew of the young girl.

Each individual narrator of each first-person chapter has a distinct voice that comes alive on the page. The desperate loneliness of math teacher Mr. Dees, the young arrogance of Katie's brother Gilley, and the unfamiliar fear the people in the town feel for newcomer Raymond R. Wright, are just a few examples of the vivid feelings Martin is able to capture without exception.

As the reader absorbs the eyewitness accounts, by default they are seeing into the hearts and minds of each witness. Each quirk, every feeling of uncertainty and all displays of moral outrage are placed in full view of the reader, as the character waits for judgment or redemption.

While the âMystic Riverâ comparisons may be unavoidable, âThe Bright Foreverâ is, in it's own right, a masterpiece that draws emotion from the reader like its literary counterpart, yet deserves its own category of individual praise. The reader will be entranced by the story from the get-go and held on until the end by a string of unnerving suspense and quiet disbelief.
reviewed The Bright Forever on + 9 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
Lee Martin's second novel, âThe Bright Forever,â is a captivating story about the disappearance of nine-year-old Katie Mackey from a small town in Indiana thirty years ago. Like the comparable âMystic River,â âForeverâ is told from the points of view of the different townspeople and neighbors of the missing girl, each chapter being a first-person account from each person as to his or her version of the events that fateful night.

Martin has created an exquisite page-turner, filled with small-town sensibilities, with the requisite small-town atrocities. One does not expect a heartbreaking crime to happen to them, especially in such a trusting town. In a time when people slept with their front doors unlocked and kept a lazy eye on their children, Katie's disappearance affects all who knew and knew of the young girl.

Each individual narrator of each first-person chapter has a distinct voice that comes alive on the page. The desperate loneliness of math teacher Mr. Dees, the young arrogance of Katie's brother Gilley, and the unfamiliar fear the people in the town feel for newcomer Raymond R. Wright, are just a few examples of the vivid feelings Martin is able to capture without exception.

As the reader absorbs the eyewitness accounts, by default they are seeing into the hearts and minds of each witness. Each quirk, every feeling of uncertainty and all displays of moral outrage are placed in full view of the reader, as the character waits for judgment or redemption.

While the âMystic Riverâ comparisons may be unavoidable, âThe Bright Foreverâ is, in it's own right, a masterpiece that draws emotion from the reader like its literary counterpart, yet deserves its own category of individual praise. The reader will be entranced by the story from the get-go and held on until the end by a string of unnerving suspense and quiet disbelief.
reviewed The Bright Forever on + 6 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
A little girl disappears and the story is told from several points of view. Is it always the one you suspect? Maybe not...A quick read, great for vacation.
reviewed The Bright Forever on + 113 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
I read this book very quickly! It was a dark story, and hooked me in the beginning, the middle lagged some, but then it was worth sticking to the end. Interesting perspective on one event from many different viewpoints. Easy to read.
reviewed The Bright Forever on + 10 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
I really liked this book. It was written from the perspectives of 4 or 5 main characters (alternating chapters), which is a style that I don't always enjoy...the author made it work, however, and succeeded in the moving the story along at a good pace. While the basic plot is similar to The Lovely Bones (which I loved), this author dealt with the subject matter differently and told the story in a different voice. I did not find myself comparing the two novels at all. The is a stand alone work, the story is compelling and the characters are interesting and generally well developed. I found myself wanting more, wanting to know the truth, and unable to turn the pages fast enough.
reviewed The Bright Forever on + 77 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Outstanding. I was hooked from the very first chapter: "Raymond R: "I'm not saying I didn't do it. I don't know". Awesome writing. Great character delineation. Masterful buildup of suspense. I coudn't put it down. Had to read in the tub. Take with me to lunch with a friend, in case she was late. Read past my bedtime. Worthwhile. I read fast and read a lot of books. Lately, have been running into mediocre books, which I won't continue. They don't hook me. They don't interest me. This is definitely a thumbs up!
reviewed The Bright Forever on + 10 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Definitely a page-turner, but I was a bit disappointed by the ending. I was expecting some big surprise because of the reviews I've read, but the ending was predictable. Still a good read, though.
reviewed The Bright Forever on + 50 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
My, oh, my!! What a book! I couldn't put it down. . . first book I've read by this author and now I'll read others.
reviewed The Bright Forever on
Helpful Score: 2
Engrossing tale of small town people not accustomed to exraordinary happenings, and how they cope when tragedy hits. Anyone from a small town will understand completely as will urban dwellers. Great book!!!!
reviewed The Bright Forever on + 50 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Wow, what a book. I was not expecting a story as haunting and gripping as this one. I was memorized from the first line to the last. It a gripping tale of lives inner twined and the results of greed, lust, anger and dare I say love all climaxing in one desperate moment of human failing. You suspect from the beginning who committed the crime but what you don't know is why and your not really sure you do know the answer. The story, told in a matter of fact manner, follows the books characters as they each reveal their secrets. Secrets that sometimes would be best left in the dark recesses of peoples minds. Like a scab on your knee that you just can't help but pick this book leaves you with that feeling. You want to put it down and walk away but you can't. It follows you until the last page and the last word has been read. It tugs at your mind and will leave an imprint on it forever.
reviewed The Bright Forever on
Helpful Score: 1
Well-done mystery. Multiple narrators slowly reveal what happened to a missing girl. You see the ending coming, but the book doesn't suffer because of this. This book avoids the worst trends of fiction about small towns where every character is either perfect or a freak.
reviewed The Bright Forever on + 49 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I really enjoyed this book, its is about how one small choice or moment in time can change a life forever.
reviewed The Bright Forever on + 685 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I normally give a book 100 pages or so if I am not getting interested in order to let the book get going. I gave this one about 20 pages, the story was so circular I couldn't understand what was going on and truly it was so wordy that I was sure I wouldn't want to know what was happening. This one gets good revies everywhere I looked, but for me it was just punishment to continue.
reviewed The Bright Forever on + 43 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Loved it! Reminded me of The Lovely Bones, Good read!!!
reviewed The Bright Forever on + 99 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Good book, but dull in parts
reviewed The Bright Forever on + 3 more book reviews
Good book. Just not exactly the ending I was thinking about. Quick read. Some liked it, some didn't. I did.
reviewed The Bright Forever on
Pretty good story about a child who goes missing...ok writing, some surprises.
reviewed The Bright Forever on + 7 more book reviews
I have never read a book by this author before. I enjoyed this book very much. It was written as if the main character in the book was talking to you and telling a story, and asking you "to stick with me" and you will get your answer to the the question of who-dun-it!
reviewed The Bright Forever on + 44 more book reviews
What a great story!!! It takes place somewhere around 1960 in a small town, any small town will do. The writer plants us firmly there and then by the many references to news, products, songs and attitudes that were abundant at that time in history. It was a time when something like this could and did happen, certainly a more trusting and complacent time. Told through the eyes and memories of the people actually involved, chapter by chapter, each voice haunting, each narrative riviting, the tension builds steadily. I felt I was there. Myself, one of the many townspeople that experienced this sad saga firsthand, only more so, given the insight into every thought and motive. How we all wish at various times in our lives, that we could go back and change the subtile timing of events to alter the destructive course that follows. How we wish that in this story!!! Regardless, all the pieces fell togethter as they did and the momentum was unstoppable. I could NOT put this book down!!! Until the truth is finally revealed, a surprise, in the final chapter. I only wish ALL books could be this well done! BRAVO!
reviewed The Bright Forever on
Good read, I found the way the author told the story interesting.
reviewed The Bright Forever on + 174 more book reviews
As others have said, this book really hooked me and kept me reading. The tension in this novel starts on the first page and never lets up. The characters are captivating, each has his or her own perspective on life, love and the kidnapping - especially love. There is a dark side to each of their perceptions of love, how they express it and how they act it out. Simply, a good, well written story, that makes you "feel".
reviewed The Bright Forever on + 28 more book reviews
This book kept me guessing as to "who done it" I did not find any of the characters very likable. The writing was good and the story interesting.
reviewed The Bright Forever on + 222 more book reviews
Very good story, read before but read it again.
reviewed The Bright Forever on + 73 more book reviews
Loved this book!
reviewed The Bright Forever on + 391 more book reviews
I couldnt put it down, the characters were intriquing
reviewed The Bright Forever on + 48 more book reviews
Good book!
reviewed The Bright Forever on + 22 more book reviews
I read this book straight through. I can,t say I really liked it. I wanted to understand the characters but I couldn,t. I still don,t have the answer to WHY? The characters did not seem real.
reviewed The Bright Forever on + 52 more book reviews
Comparable to THE LOVELY BONES
reviewed The Bright Forever on
A novel about the choices people make that change their lives forever. Katie Mackey, age 9, sets out on her bicycle to return some library books. The story of a small town in Indiana in the grip of tragedy. Very good read.
reviewed The Bright Forever on + 74 more book reviews
Excellent - surprise ending.
reviewed The Bright Forever on + 14 more book reviews
This was compared to The Lovely Bones - which I enjoyed much more - but this was okay.
reviewed The Bright Forever on + 111 more book reviews
In the Bright Forever, Katie, a sweet nine-year-old girl goes missing from her small town in Indiana. The story unfolds through different characters' voices. It is a successful device that really moves the novel along and makes it a page-turner. Katie's tutor, Mr. Dees, is a particularly memorable character--creepy yet sympathetic.
reviewed The Bright Forever on + 213 more book reviews
I really liked it alot. It is cool how the story is told from different points of view.
reviewed The Bright Forever on + 79 more book reviews
Story of 9 year old Katie Mackey who disappears in a small Indiana town. Very touching book told by the points of views of different people; Her Math Tutor, his neighbors, her older brother Gilley...etc. Very touching book. Quick read, kept me interested entirely to the end.
reviewed The Bright Forever on + 78 more book reviews
I really enjoyed this book.. A nine year girl goes missing and the story is told from the perspective of her tutor, a neighbor, her brother and the town...Will keep you guessing until the end...
reviewed The Bright Forever on + 106 more book reviews
I found this book totally captivating, probably because it was written in the first person (at least I think this is the correct label-- as in the author was writing to the reader (and stating this directly). It follows the fine tradition of telling the story from several different viewpoints, and the story unfolds both quickly but also with exquisite anticipation, a hard line to follow.
reviewed The Bright Forever on + 13 more book reviews
well written and disturbing
reviewed The Bright Forever on + 7 more book reviews
Definitely not a happy story but beautifully crafted and it held my attention to the very end.
reviewed The Bright Forever on + 104 more book reviews
A trip back into the south of my childhood, when little girls were innocent of possible dangers.
reviewed The Bright Forever on + 2 more book reviews
A very interesting book with an interesting structure. Was a little slow in the middle, but very enjoyable.
reviewed The Bright Forever on + 15 more book reviews
Very good tale of how a missing 9 yeard old child affects the lives of many in a small community including her family members.
reviewed The Bright Forever on + 9 more book reviews
Excellent, captivating book. Couldn't put it down.
reviewed The Bright Forever on + 23 more book reviews
An easy read. Not quite as good as The Lovely Bones, but still engaging.
reviewed The Bright Forever on
quick read, narrator changes throughout book, suspenseful
reviewed The Bright Forever on
Eh. That's how I felt after reading this book. It's not memorable, but not terrible either.
reviewed The Bright Forever on + 3 more book reviews
This was a very good read. It kept me interested all the way to the end. It gets to the heart of why people are the way they are and do the things that they do.
reviewed The Bright Forever on + 4 more book reviews
I couldn't put this book down. Definitely easy to read and a page turner. Very well written!
reviewed The Bright Forever on + 24 more book reviews
This book was really good. It was sad though since it was about a missing 9 yr. old girl and how it affected so many different people's lives.
reviewed The Bright Forever on + 3 more book reviews
This book was a difficult read at times, due to the subject matter. Having the story told from many points of view was unusual, but interesting. This was a quick read, but a story that will stay with me for quite some time.
reviewed The Bright Forever on
The way Lee Martin wrote this book was interesting and allows you to get to know the characters well. The subject matter is not a happy one but this is a good read.
reviewed The Bright Forever on + 12 more book reviews
This book was pretty good. Not great, but interesting.
reviewed The Bright Forever on + 20 more book reviews
this was a very good book. surprising and amazing. i loved it.
reviewed The Bright Forever on + 223 more book reviews
I thought this was a very heartfelt and touching book. I felt so bad for Katie's family losing her the way they did. I could have thought of a few ways to get revenge upon her killer(s). I gave this book 4 stars.
reviewed The Bright Forever on + 19 more book reviews
This book has some lagging moments but overall was a good read. Dark moments in the book but liked the style of telling the story from several different town peoples perspective. Great book that gets you to think.
reviewed The Bright Forever on + 224 more book reviews
good book
reviewed The Bright Forever on + 9 more book reviews
This is a great read!
reviewed The Bright Forever on
read it in an afternoon, good book
reviewed The Bright Forever on + 28 more book reviews
Good, fast read.
reviewed The Bright Forever on + 42 more book reviews
"Harrowing and Beautiful book. One of the most powerful I have read in years." -Bret Lott
reviewed The Bright Forever on + 711 more book reviews
On an evening liek any other, nine-year old Katie Mackey, daughter of the most affluent family in a small town on the plains of Indiana, sets out on her bicyle to return some library books. This simple act is at the heart of The Bright Forever, a suspenseful, deeply affecting novel about the choices poeple make that change their lives forever.