Book Review (+ Giveaway): Sailing out of Darkness

5 Jun


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About the Book

Young woman walking on water

Book: Sailing out of Darkness

Author: Normandie Fischer

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Release Date: February 25, 2017 (2nd Edition)

Love conquers all? Maybe for some people.

When Samantha flies to Italy to gain distance from a disastrous affair with her childhood best friend, the last thing on her mind is romance. But Teo Anderson is nothing like her philandering ex-husband or her sailing buddy, Jack, who, despite his live-in girlfriend, caught her off guard with his flashing black eyes.

Teo has his own scars, both physical and emotional, that he represses by writing mysteries — until one strange and compelling vision comes to life in the person of Sam. Seeking answers, he offers friendship to this obviously hurting woman, a friendship that threatens to upend his fragile peace of mind.

But not even sailing the cobalt waters of the Mediterranean can assuage Sam’s guilt for destroying Jack’s relationship and hurting another woman. Soon the consequences of her behavior escalate, and the fallout threatens them all.

Sailing out of Darkness is the haunting story of mistakes and loss . . . and the grace that abounds through forgiveness.

Awarded: Aspen Gold, Selah, and Maggie Finalist 2014 (1st edition).

About the Author

Normandie Fischer is a sailor who writes and a writer who sails. After studying sculpture in Italy, she returned to the States, graduated suma cum laude, and went to work in the publishing field as an editor. She and her husband retired from cruising Pacific Mexico on their 50-foot ketch, Sea Venture, to care of her aging mother and enjoy her two grown children and her grandchildren. She is the author of six books: Becalmed (2013), Heavy Weather (2015), Twilight Christmas (2016), Two from Isaac’s House (2015), From Fire into Fire (2016), and Sailing out of Darkness (2013 and 2017).

Guest Post from Normandie Fischer

In Sailing out of Darkness, the female protagonist longs for something, anything that will validate her after her husband leaves. She’s propelled into such an emotional wasteland that she becomes vulnerable to what seems a safe friendship.

It isn’t. And so she flees to Italy, but the repercussions of her actions continue to affect her and others—as consequences are wont to do.

After my divorce, hurting women seemed to flock to my vicinity. (Either that, or suddenly husbands in the church were leaving in droves.) These were abandoned women, angry women, women searching for love in the wrong places. I wasn’t in any shape to minister to them as I too was struggling at the cross, but that period helped me understand how woefully ignorant and unprepared many church goers are when it comes to hearing the cries of the hurting. I know of two women (to whom I dedicated the book) who actually killed themselves because no one listened or reached out a hand when they needed it.

The process of divorce and healing taught me about grace in a way that I’d never fully internalized. I’d ministered and counseled for years about the Love of God. I’d preached and written about it, but part of me, the part that needed healing, still held on to the idea that I had to be perfect to be loved by God and by man. I knew better, but the heart and the head weren’t working well together, especially during my years of living with an alcoholic husband and during divorce recovery after he left. As I wrote about Sam’s guilt and helped her find peace, I think new pieces slid into place for me as well. Nothing, absolutely nothing, can separate us from the love of God. And that’s probably the most powerful message we have to share with this hurting world.

My Impressions:

When a book just doesn’t resonate with a reader, it is often hard to describe why. That’s my dilemma with Sailing out of Darkness by Normandie Fischer. While the book is very well-written — the author is adept at setting a scene, and the characters are fully-developed, I just never could get it to click. This is partly due to my not liking main character Sam Ransom. While I really liked Teo, the mystery writer who befriends her, I was never drawn to Sam and didn’t really see why he was either. There are parts of the book that seem like add-ons, and because of their dark nature and complexity I felt that they really should not have been a part of an already full story. I know this seems vague, but I don’t want to include any spoilers. Let’s just say that the guilt and self-doubt that Sam feels could have been resolved without the added trauma that comes at the end of the book. The book is billed as Christian Fiction, and while the main characters are believers, there is little lived out in their lives. The promise of spiritual growth for Sam and Teo never rang true to me.

Please note that this is certainly my subjective opinion. There are lots of reviewers that would disagree with me. Please visit the bloggers listed below to view other opinions.

(Thanks to Celebrate Lit for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

 

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Normandie is giving away a Kindle! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/b630

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8 Responses to “Book Review (+ Giveaway): Sailing out of Darkness”

  1. Barbara H. June 5, 2017 at 9:45 am #

    I very much appreciate honest reviews. The author’s guest post sounds compelling, but the plot doesn’t really appeal to me.

    Like

    • rbclibrary June 5, 2017 at 2:29 pm #

      From reading your thoughts on books, I don’t think you would enjoy this one either.

      Like

  2. NZ Filbruns June 5, 2017 at 2:21 pm #

    I always appreciate a review from someone who didn’t really like a book. It helps round out the picture of the book for me.

    Like

  3. Paula June 5, 2017 at 3:51 pm #

    Isn’t it wonderful how God can use our hurting to help other people? Thanks for listening to God and letting Hom turn your mourning into joy! Thanks.

    Like

  4. Margaret Appel June 5, 2017 at 7:58 pm #

    The cover for Sailing out of Darkness is lovely, it reminds me of the beaches in Daytona at sunset. The blurb is intriguing, & makes me wonder what and how bad this fallout is going to be from Sam having an affair with her childhood best friend. Sailing out of Darkness is definitely a must read.

    Like

  5. Michele Morin June 10, 2017 at 6:27 am #

    I am completely in the dark about sailing, so I’m sure I’d learn a lot just from reading this book. And I love the way you hand the mic to your author so that we can hear her actual words as part of your post!
    Blessings to you!

    Like

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