Book Review (and a Giveaway!): Sailing out of Darkness by Normandie Fischer

Posted May 31, 2017 by meezcarrie in Christian, contemporary, giveaway, Normandie Fischer / 30 Comments

about the book

An unexplained apparition, wanderings through Italy, and mayhem back home push four lives toward their day of reckoning.​​​

The last thing on Samantha’s mind is another entanglement. Fleeing a disastrous affair with her childhood best friend, she hopes for peace and forgetfulness in a trip to Italy.​

Teo Anderson copes with his own issues, both physical and emotional, by writing mysteries—until one strange and compelling vision comes to life in the person of Sam.

​Teo is nothing like Sam’s philandering ex-husband or her sailing buddy, Jack, who, despite his long-time girlfriend, caught Sam off guard with his flashing black eyes. But not even sailing the cobalt waters of the Mediterranean can assuage Sam’s guilt for 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.

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SERIES: Carolina Coast #4
GENRE: Inspirational Women’s Fiction
PUBLISHER: Sleepy Creek Press
RELEASE DATE: February 25, 2017 (2nd ed.)
PAGES: 384

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“The trouble with trouble was that it didn’t go away just because you wanted it to.”

Normandie Fischer’s novels are southern fiction wrapped in bucket-list-trip locales. It’s one of my favorite things about reading her books! The warm southern turn of a phrase juxtaposed against a romantic backdrop like Italy (or a thrilling one if you’re reading her Isaac’s House series!).

In Sailing Out of Darkness, we follow Samantha – Sam – as she tries to rebuild her life after a divorce and a devastatingly bad decision. We also meet Teo, a mystery novelist with his own set of scars, both figurative and literal.  Through a few “chance” encounters, their paths intersect and – despite their best intentions – something tentative begins to bloom between them.  I loved both of these characters, but especially Teo. His tender heart, his honest journey to God, his sense of humor, and the way he cares for Sam.

At the surface level, the story is about Sam and her decision (and failure) to avoid men for the rest of her life due to recent bad decisions. Italy seems to her like a good idea to gain new perspective so off she goes. Enter Teo, stage right. 🙂

And yet…. there’s a much deeper theme to be found here as well. One of sin and its poisonous – and rippling – consequences. One of grace and the True Love that covers a multitude of those sins. One of healing found only in the Arms of the One who threw the stars into place and still knows your name and the number of hairs on your head. One of friendship and family and the power of both.

Bottom Line: Each sentence in a Normandie Fischer book reads like a warm hug and a tall glass of lemonade. Her writing voice beckons you to curl up and settle in for the duration as you savor the words, the characters, and their story. Sam and Teo are flawed, relatable, and genuine characters who present an authentic picture of life with all its up and downs – and of grace in all its beauty. Not to be missed!

(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)

My Rating: 4 stars / Love it!

KissingBook Level: 3 / May forget to breathe on occasion

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Also available to read for free with a Kindle Unlimited subscription!

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).

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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.

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!

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This giveaway is hosted by Celebrate Lit Blog Tours. Follow along with the tour for more chances to win!

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30 responses to “Book Review (and a Giveaway!): Sailing out of Darkness by Normandie Fischer

  1. Becky Hriv

    Love your review, Carrie! Have to agree…Normandie’s reads are big hugs! Have thoroughly enjoyed her books!

  2. Kay Garrett

    I loved reading about Sailing out of Darkness and now it’s on my got to read list.

    Thanks for the review which just tantalized me even more.

  3. P Diane Buie

    Thanks for a chance at this give away! 🙂 I have not had the pleasure of reading any of her work so, it would be a pleasure to have a chance to win and learn of a new author!

    • I hope you enjoy the Carolina Coast books, Patty! I can’t seem to get out of town for very long, not when new characters keep introducing themselves and their problems to me.

  4. Dianne Casey

    Would love to read “Sailing Out Of Darkness” sounds like an amazing read. Normandie is a new author to me and I would enjoy reading the book.

  5. This author is new to me!
    Our minister spoke about marriage and divorce at church on Sunday. It was surprising how high the divorce rate is now.

    • Dianna, I remember when my husband of many years decamped back in the 90s and I discovered myself among an entire group of ladies in our church who’d experienced the same thing, as if there were a plague going around. We so often fail to listen to God’s voice when we choose a mate–I hadn’t because I hadn’t even known God existed until three years after I married the man who would become the father of my children.

      One of the reasons I wrote Sailing out of Darkness was to encourage those of us in the church to look outside ourselves to the hurting among us, wounded women like Sam…and India. I’m so grateful for God’s plan to rescue us from our messes and for the joy He promises in abundance when we do things His way.

  6. Winnie Thomas

    Carrie, what a wonderful review and introduction to Normandie Fischer! Normandie, I love finding new-to-me authors. Your book sounds wonderful!

  7. Janet Estridge

    I am not familiar with this author but our church library readers are going to love her books.
    Thanks for entering me in your giveaway.

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