Book Review: Sailing out of Darkness by Normandie Fischer 3

Sailing out of Darkness

by Normandie Fischer




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.

Aspen Gold, Selah Award, and Maggie Finalist for 1st edition, 2014

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.



My Rating:



Favorite Quotes:


Divorce was such a harsh word. She’d purposefully left it out of her vocabulary, hoping it might never happen.


Tootie was an elf on steroids: hair that changed color on a whim, earrings that dangled past her chin, clothes in hues that popped…


Waved swelled against the pebbly sand, rolled over rocks and touched the rim of her sneakers. She left prints, voids that filled once she had passed. Her own empty spaces didn’t fill. They echoed and wailed like specters near a grave.


Trust is very hard. And I find that we often have an enemy that comes to live in our head. You agree? A whisper who makes us remember only that which is not good about ourselves.


He felt like the aging star of some stupid melodrama, the old guy they were dumping in favor of the young stud, killed off in this crazy way ‘cause the script writers had used up their quota of bullet holes, car wrecks, and heart attacks.



My Review:


Sailing Out Of Darkness was an atmospheric, angsty, and melancholy read, yet it was also highly relevant in featuring real world concerns. Samantha was a middle-aged woman in turmoil following a devastating divorce and poorly timed rebound relationship with a childhood friend.   The storyline will undoubtedly have many women seeing reflections of their own foibles, disappointments, missteps, and long ignored issues flashing before them, I know I did, although I sincerely wished I could have taken a leisurely soul-searching jaunt through Italy while trying to shake my mid-life crisis. While I had no wish to suffer the personal losses that lead to her escape, I was chartreuse with envy over Samantha’s travel experience.


Ms. Fischer’s writing was insightful, keenly observant, highly emotive, and adroitly detailed in such a manner that kept a pensive heaviness or tension in my chest as I read.   I was intrigued by their dreams, as that is where we humans are always the most unguarded. I was also curious about the occasional ethereal or supernatural type elements, or the vague visions or thoughts that could have been viewed as either otherworldly manifestations, the intervention of a higher power, or merely flights of fancy conjured up out of a combination of fatigue, loneliness, and an over-active imagination.   Samantha was at her weakest point and wallowing in her disappointment, humiliation, and guilt – with her downward spiral ultimately sending her into depression and straight on into an unhealthy self-absorbed misery. She was either uncommonly graced by luck, or destined by the fates to cross paths with Teo during her sojourn. Teo was such a kind, compassionate, and gentle soul – and I adored him head to toe. I quickly defined him as her perfect remedy; it just took her awhile to get there too.


           Check out this cool trailer!


 About the Author

Normandie had the best of several worlds: a Southern heritage, access to schooling in the DC area (which meant lots of cultural adventures), and several years of sculpture studies in Italy. It might have been better for her if she’d used all these opportunities more wisely, but it’s possible that the imperfect and the unwise also add fodder for the artist and the writer.

Her life changed radically when she married the love of her life at an age when some would have said she was over the hill and way past her prime. (Clichés often speak the truth, don’t they?) A lifelong sailor, she was delighted to find that Michael also longed to cruise lovely waters, which is what they did from Northern CA to Mexico, spending too-few years in the incomparable Sea of Cortez. Sea Venture, their 50′ ketch, is back home in North Carolina now because Normandie’s mama needed care. Still, it’s gorgeous there, too, and she can write from home as easily as she could on the boat.

Her two grown children, son-in-law, and two step-sons are handsome (or gorgeous, as the case may be), talented, and a delight. And now there’s a new granddaughter and grandson in the mix–woohoo! She just wishes they lived a lot closer to home.

Look for Sea Venture’s clipper bow and beautiful lines as she slips into a harbor near you.

3 thoughts on “Book Review: Sailing out of Darkness by Normandie Fischer

  1. Reply Normandie Fischer (@WritingOnBoard) Feb 26,2017 2:08 am

    Your kind words brought a smile to my morning. I can’t thank you enough for taking the time to read and review this book of mine.

  2. Reply Joselyn Raquel Feb 27,2017 9:26 am

    Sounds like a good and interesting story, going to recommend it to my friends that like more real novels.

  3. Reply The Paperback Princess Feb 28,2017 4:39 am

    Sounds like quite the story..

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