[Reading] ➹ Lisa, Bright and Dark Author John Neufeld – Moncler2018.co

A Novel In The Poignant Tradition Of I Never Promised You A Rose Garden DADDY, I THINK I M GOING CRAZY, Lisa SaidMr Shilling Said, You Ve Seen Too Many Movies And Mrs Shilling Went On, I Think It S Very Rude Of You To Discuss This Sort Of Thing When We Have Guests What Do You Do When You Are Years Old And Know You Are Losing Your Mindand Your Parents Think You Are FakingJohn Neufield, Whose Novel Edgar Allan Was Called A Work Of Art By The New York Times, Turns His Deft Touch And Understanding Spirit To The Story Of Lisa Shilling And The Three Teen Age Friends Who Walk With Her Where Adults Fear To Tread


10 thoughts on “Lisa, Bright and Dark

  1. says:

    I first picked up this book when I was a teenager for no other reason thanyes, she shares my name When I read the back and discovered it s plot, about a girl that is psychologically troubled, to put it mildly, I was hooked I ve always been interested in stories where the character has a serious illness or problems I ve read countless books about girls with cancer, girls who have drug problems, girls who ve been raped, and like 3 where the girl had cancer Depressing, I know.


  2. says:

    Sixteen year old Lisa is calling for help but no adult is willing to help her so her friends come to her rescue They become her therapists and the story takes off This book was written in 1969, so as a reader you have to consider the circumstances and the characters do the best they can to be the therapists that Lisa needs They rely upon books and encyclopedias but things start to get out of control and these therapists are over their heads They know they can t give up because they are her only hope but Lisa s mental illness is getting worse and she needs professional help The book is told through the eyes of one of Lisa s best friend, Betsy and we feel the emotions and the story unfold as the friends draw together towards a common goal It s about the commitment of friends, who don t give up and don t judge each other but it s also about listening I mean really listening when someone is trying to reach out When someone is trying to connect to you, are you listening Do you hear what they are saying Are you willing to hear what they are saying, even if you don t like what they are saying


  3. says:

    Meh Lots of novels from the 1960 s and 1970 s hold up, albeit in a nostalgic and kitschy way This one most definitely did not though Everything about it was ridiculous, from Lisa s manifestation of mental illness, to her friends, to the adults to the writing Speaking of which, the writing was all tell and absolutely no show If this had ever been made into a cheesy movie, that is a movie I would absolutely love to see But the novel version is simply bad and painful beyond words Skip this one.


  4. says:

    Lisa Shilling is an attractive, smart, and friendly girl from a comfortably middle class family in a small town in New York She s dating the most popular boy in her highschool, has lots of friends, and seems to have everything But midway through her junior year of highschool, Lisa begins to notice that something is wrong.She s hearing voices, feeling isolated, has unpredictable mood swings and lashes out at her friends She develops a cruel sense of humor, disappears from places unexpectedly, and even occasionally takes on an English accent and persona And though her peers and close friends realize that something is wrong with Lisa, the adults in her life either pretend that nothing unusual is happening or refuse to take action So three of Lisa s friends take it upon themselves to buoy her up as best they can until they can convince an adult that Lisa isn t acting out or faking it she really does need professional help.Lisa, Bright and Dark posits itself not only about a teen s battle with mental illness, but also a sort of parable about the callousness and lack of responsibility that adults often take when dealing with young people This is emphasized not only through Lisa s neglectful parents, but also the counselor and teachers at her high school, who see that something is terribly wrong with one of their students, but are afraid of incurring the anger of her parents of interfering with the way they raise their children While certainly adults are often guilty of turning a blind eye to the problems and issues that their kids are going through refusing to believe that their teens could be having sex, experimenting with drugs, etc I wonder if this book reflects attitudes that are still socially acceptable It s my feeling that if teachers, clergy members, and friends all noticed that a teen they knew was having mental health problems, a myriad of counselors and resources would be provided for her, even if the parents didn t fully cooperate It seems to me that it is now much socially acceptable and even socially mandated to get involved when a teen shows signs of mental distress.The fact that the book is narrated by one of Lisa s less good friends, Betsy, works very well Not only does Betsy s bubbly voice balance out the harshness of Lisa s story peppered as it is with tangents about Paul Newman s dreamy eyes, movie factoids, and high school social commentary , but it also provides a realistic window onto Lisa s situation It allows the reader to observe someone who is slowly descending into mental illness from an external point of view This is probably a empathetic position for most teens, but also makes the reader think about their own responsibilities to their friends and peers and the ways in which she might seek out help for a friend in a similar situation.


  5. says:

    This was much better than I was expecting Surprising that it s written by a man because it really reads like teenage girls Even though this was written in the late 60 s it holds up well, I think The frustration that Lisa and her friends feel at the lack of concern for Lisa s mental state is the driving force of this book It was hard not to get caught up in the ticking time bomb that was Lisa s mental state The story wraps up a little too neatly but that s not surprising since this is YA, before there even was YA.


  6. says:

    I read this book in 8th grade, taught it to 10th graders who loved it, and now have just finished re reading it some 23 years after having taught it There are things about the book which I did not get the first times I read it, that really deeply sit with me now I m amazed at how 3 teens could take on the huge problem of mental illness in an effort to help their clearly sick friend Maybe this isn t realistic to some, but it seems to be what teens have always done I was really irked at the school counselor being so ineffective and scared of Lisa s parents I was even angry at the parents who were in denial, thought their daughter was into a fad of mental illness, and refused to listen to anyone even after Lisa s apparently suicide And YET I know such parents exist and even haunt the schools with their appearance is the most important and how dare you attitudes and do indeed shoo away any well wishers You would hope that things would be better today but I m not sure how they are.This story is set in the 1960 s when mental illness was a to be kept secret and hidden The various cultural and pop references should probably have footnotes now or be topics for research among the younger readers I admire Betsy, Mary Nell, and Elizabeth for listening and hearing Lisa s cries for help and though the adults are right that they are getting in over their heads, it shows they care and will do what it takes for a friend in need I know that TODAY the teachers would not be ostriches or so careful, but I can believe the teachers of the late 60 s probably did ignore or just let it be as much as possible I think the novel reflects the time of its writing and setting accurately and has to be taken within that context.Is it a good YA book for today s teens I think if it is taught or read together with someone who can explain some things it is good The themes of the book are very relevant to today This book is in some senses timeless just as the Bell Jar and I Never Promised You a Rose Garden and Girl Interrupted are for the time periods they portray I think the book is also an excellent way to open up discussion of mental illness and how to talk to those who are mentally ill WE get from this novel that Lisa appreciates Betsy s honesty and the efforts of her friends and WANTS help So as a dialogue starter this book has a lot to offer I was surprised to see it is still in print as when I taught it, it had just gone out of print and I got the last 8 copies available I m reading my copy from 8thit has held up pretty well I do recommend this book overall.


  7. says:

    When I first picked up this book in Jr High, it instantly became one of my favorites So when I saw it at a used book store, I had to get it because I remembered loving it.I enjoyed it again, but after reading it this time around I realized how outdated the story really is I guess just didn t notice this when I first read it, but now it was something that constantly bothered me The characters were not really like teens today, and I am so accustomed to reading YA books that portray teens like they presently are, that reading this sort of threw me off a bit Other than that though, I really love the story I think it would ve been a bit interesting if it was from Lisa s point of view, but I m not sure how that could ve worked Instead, we see everything that happens to Lisa from an aquaintance who gets a bit involved as the story unfolds.Although I want to say I recommend this book to everyone, I m not too sure if many YA readers will like it because it was written for teens in the late sixties So, it makes it a bit harder to really connect with the characters and enjoy the story In my opinion, it is still a great book.


  8. says:

    I read this book when I was in middle school ahem1979 I was fascinated with it, and continued to re read it about 5 times before I graduated high school There was so much about Lisa that I identified with, and her story resonated with me in profound ways I work in a library, and we don t carry this book I ve looked for it in every library I ve been in across the country, and there are very few that do carry it, so I m glad to see it available on Kindle The writing is wonderful, and Neufeld understands teenage mental illness When my daughter was a teenager she is now 23 I tried to find it for her to read, but was unable to get my hands on a copy Now, it s a little under her radar, but I hope she ll read it anyway I want to re read it, too.


  9. says:

    Read this as a kid in junior high or high school Was reminded of it the other day after spotting a similar book I Never Promised You a Rose Garden at a book exchange It s pretty dark But for some reason when I think of this book, I think of swimming at the wave pool in town I read this book over a few days one summer when I was spending a lot of time at the pool I distinctly remember coming home from the pool and reading this book with the smell of chlorine still in my nose ad the sting of it in my eyes and the sensation of treading water still ghosting in my legs That and all the references to Paul Newman and Lisa banging her head into her bed headboard Go figure.


  10. says:

    This book is described by critics as a work of art and it is.I first read this as a child and have reread through the years It remains just as great a read now as then This book was way ahead of it s time as there was not much YA about mental illness Of coarse times have changed and we know much then we did then but the book ages well and this story of one young woman s tragic illness and her band of loving and loyal friends who go all in to help her remains a magnificent and important read.