Lisa, Bright & Dark by John Neufeld

Lisa, Bright & Dark
ISBN 0606123962
  • Author:
    John Neufeld
  • Title:
    Lisa, Bright & Dark
  • Category:
  • ISBN13:
  • Publisher:
    Demco Media (December 1, 1987)
  • Size PDF version
    1821 kb
  • Size FB2 version
    1874 kb
  • Size EPUB version
    1994 kb
  • Rating:
  • Votes:
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Lisa, Bright & Dark by John Neufeld
PDF format

1994 downloads at 32 mb/s

Lisa, Bright & Dark by John Neufeld
EPUB format

1821 downloads at 39 mb/s

Lisa, Bright & Dark by John Neufeld
FB2 format

1874 downloads at 31 mb/s

I first read this book as a teenager and for some reason it really stuck in my mind as being a great book. Reading it again (decades later) I found it to be *okay* but not anything close to what I remembered. Lisa is a popular girl at school, from a good family, has a handsome boyfriend and good social circle of friends until everything starts going wrong. Lisa is experiencing mood swings, "dark" days, and exhibiting strange behavior that only she seems to think is a problem. Her parents refuse to admit that there may be something seriously wrong with their daughter so it falls upon her close friends and the occasional concerned teacher to try to help her. This book was first published in 1969, back when teenagers from good families weren't supposed to have mental illness, and when going to a shrink just wasn't something that troubled teens did,especially in the suburbs. I had high hopes for re-reading this, as it was one of my favorite books when I was in junior high, but alas, it doesn't hold up to the test of time, and what seems to be strange is that it is so obviously NOT written by a teenager (or young person for that matter) despite the fact that the narrator is one of Lisa's best friends.
There are a lot of books about bipolar out there, but this one was from an interested perspective. Written from the viewpoint of Lisa's friends, it depicts what bipolar looks like from the outside looking in. In a time when not much was understood about bipolar disorder, this book follows school aged children as they try to help a friend of theirs. They don't know what is wrong with her, only that something is wrong.
lucky kitten
Lisa, Bright and Dark is a short book consisting of 143 pages in medium font. Lisa is beautiful, smart and owns an air of modesty and wisdom aswell as prestige compared to most of her friends and most of the kids her age (16). Her boyfriend is the most wanted boy at school and her friends are the most caring and perfect friends you could ever wish for. What more is there that she could desire?

Lisa desires her freedom.

Sometimes Lisa sits alone and starts to hear voices. She hears them inside her head and they are certainly not her own. Cheerful, optimistic Lisa fails to be the usual Lisa from time to time by dressing in black costume-her beauty subsides to this by shriveling up into a face that's much too pale and thin. Lisa sits through class in a cold daze and has to use all her energy and strength to answer a single question in class. She is drained of every possible hope to live. Lisa is starting to go crazy.
Being a smart girl she tells her parents but they 'ignore' her. Her teachers close their eyes and decide not to understand and Lisa falls continuously whilst also trying desperately to get the adults around her to notice her, getting her voice heard and running away from her illness. Luckily, Mary Nell Ficket (MN) who seems identified in the story as Lisa's closest friend decides to do something about the whole matter.
Along with her friend Betsy Goodman who has never met Lisa before and yet seems to be the only one Lisa feels safe enough to talk to and Elizabeth Frazer who seems to hug deeply a secret that makes her so strong and controlling with Lisa's craziness-the three of them show Lisa, it's her friends who'll make her better.
When you pick up the book in the beginning you have the impression that it is a book based on Lisa completely in a diary format. Well, that's what you get the impression of from other reviews anyway. But surprisingly enough, the more you read-the more you come to realise that Lisa isn't infact the main character much more than the rest of the characters are. Lisa creates a chain of situations and instead of Lisa, we become more attached to her friends who try and clean up the situations and help Lisa regain herself.
This book is easy to read for any age over 12 but it may seem a little intimidating. If you are giving it to a child you ought to be careful. It certainly isn't an average "Ask Alice" style book, it's much more dense if you look into it. Otherwise, it's a good book to read whilst you have a few minutes. I suggest you read it in a noisy atmosphere or a bright environment or you'll become a little drowsy at the end of the book and get a tiny bit 'down' yourself.
Lisa is smart, pretty, popular and going insane. On "bright days" she's normal. On "dark days" she just sits there at her schooldesk and listens to the voices inside her head. Realizing that she is ill, she asks her parents to take her to a psychiatrist. They ignore the problem and say she's just going through a stage.
Lisa begins to act increasingly bizarrely. An episode of self-mutilation at school earns her a six-week vacation in Florida, but no actual help. By then her teachers have realized that something is seriously wrong, but their hands are tied. The only people who really try to help Lisa are her friends: Mary Nell, Betsy, and Elizabeth. Together they form a therapy group where Lisa sits and talks to them about what's going on. But it doesn't help. Lisa walks through a plate-glass window; her parents still don't pay attention. Only when she attempts suicide do they really wake up.
I found this book to be rather dated. It was written back in the sixties. The parents' reaction was unbelievable and the ending came too quickly and too fairy-taleishly. I'm not saying it was a terrible book, but I've read many that were much better.
I loved this book when I was younger and I loved it today. if I would have thought earlier I would have insisted that this was a summer reading book. I feel it is such an important book to be read. The conflict inside ones own mind is something many, can relate to. Lisa, and her friends are like so many of us. Unfortunately, to many parents are like Lisa's. I highly, highly, recommend the fine book to all. *Woodward smile* :)
There were a few specifics that didn't quite "ring true" for me, but that might be due to the style of the writing prevalent in the late sixties. Overall, the general issues were presented well and it was easy to identify with Lisa and her friends. Lisa herself reminded me of one of my patients many years ago--a young woman whose long black hair was parted in the middle and draped over her eyes like two heavy black draperies. On her good days, we were allowed to see her eyes and on her bad days her eyes were completely covered. A good read and I'm glad the book was selected for reprinting.