When I wrote the first draft of Bright the biggest issue in Estelle’s world was the unrelenting Light Pollution, but the story grew, the issues deepened, and by the Trilogy’s last page, Estelle became a strong activist, a brave citizen, a peaceful dissenter, and a powerful revolutionary. Also, and this is a spoiler alert, a thoughtful head of state.
Bright, Beyond, and Belief are novels about a young girl who wants to change everything but doesn’t know how, so she begins with what she can do. She starts a farm. Becomes a rebel. And unknowingly begins a revolution.
In the first book, Bright, Estelle’s world is darker than she imagines:
- Estelle’s choices are severly limited
- She uncovers thought control
- Fear and pressure to submit to the control
- The right to protest is curtailed
- The legal system is unfair
- Imprisonment without due process
- and still that unrelenting Light Pollution.
Estelle fought back against the government with:
- Nonviolent Resistance
- Freedom of the Press
- Civil-disobedience and Arrest
To get Estelle released from prison, her friends and family used:
- Nonviolent action and occupation
- Pressure within the legal system
In the end she is allowed the Right to Farm. And the skies above her farm are dark. Estelle feels like she has won.
In Beyond, Estelle uncovers the depths of the Government’s darkness:
- The glittery facade
- Citizens are disappeared
- The hidden wrecked environment
- The opressed workers of the products
Estelle and her friends travel into the Beyonds and fight the power with:
- Investigations uncovering the truth
- Exposing the injustices
Unfortunately they discover that the government is controlling the citizens through the water supply. In the end she and her friends are banished and are forced to sign away their right to return.
In Belief, Estelle and her friends build a resistance:
- They sneak into the city and stage a giant action
- They debate the merits of sabotage vs nonviolent action
- One of Estelle’s followers commits an act of sabotage
- Estelle accepts the blame and turns herself in. accepting the consequences
- The people of the city take to the streets.
- Behind the scenes the government is pressured to step down.
Finally, the government is exposed and overthrown.
Through the stories Estelle is a reluctant leader, an In-Over-Her-Head activist, and a teen girl, who simply wants to see the stars, but in the end she strengthens her family, falls in love, and finds a purpose beyond her original dreams. She becomes a leader who didn’t aspire to the job, but took it because, in her own words, “. . . though almost everyone would disagree—they would be lying—I was responsible for them all.”
The first book, Bright, is now available on audiobook, too.