06 June 2017

Italian Adventure & Carolina Charm | 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.

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.


A novel with both Italian adventure and Carolina charm, Sailing Out of Darkness is an enjoyable summer read with a heavy dose of pain and healing, sin and forgiveness, faith and love. Both Samantha and Teo have their flaws, mistakes, and difficult pasts, but as the relationship begins and grows, it’s easy to hope for resolution, grace, and redemption for them. Normandie Fischer writes their story compellingly, and once the first few chapters captured my attention, I had to keep reading and reading. It’s a pleasure to read, satisfying to the end, and fans of contemporary fiction will not be disappointed. I recommend Sailing Out of Darkness.


Thanks to Celebrate Lit, I received a complimentary copy of Sailing Out of Darkness and the opportunity to provide an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review, and all the opinions I have expressed are my own.


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).


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 churchgoers 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 here to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!


June 6: Book by Book
June 7: Carpe Diem


  1. Thank you so much for taking the time to read and review Sailing out of Darkness and for recommending it to your readers.


  2. This sounds like an interesting story.