Reviewed by Grace Masso for Readers’ Favorite
Out of the Fog! A Story of Survival, Faith, and Courage by Sandra CH Smith is a true-life story about living life to the full, adventure, healing, and meaningful relationships. The author, a thirty-three-year-old, had everything anyone could want, but she was an inveterate people-pleasing alcoholic, throwing her life away and living miserably. At a time when she was at the bottom rung of her misery, she was faced with choices to change her life and bring in purpose and meaning. Dealing with her addiction was a challenge, but a rebellious teenage daughter just added to her already daunting troubles. Sandra bought a 35-foot sailboat, without even knowing how to sail one, and set out on a seven-year sailing adventure, a spiritual odyssey to transform her life and, hopefully, her relationship with her two children. Sailing mostly alone and sometimes with her teenage daughter, she went without modern navigation equipment and, using self-taught dead-reckoning, sailed from San Francisco to the Polynesian Triangle somewhere off Easter Island. That decision to have an adventure, with a capital “A,” changed her life in surprising ways, and this book contains that account.
This is a beautifully written story about daring to do things, about making choices that force us to confront our weaknesses and to battle them. Sandra CH Smith writes with an unusual sense of humor, from the descriptions of her family background to her relationship with her children to the impulsive decision to buy a boat and navigate the waters, at times uncertain of the destination, from her littlest emotions to the dramatic, eye-opening moments of the adventure. She writes with grace and does a wonderful job in capturing the dynamics in the relationship, especially between mother and daughter, and the challenges that come with developing that relationship. I loved every page of this story and the boldness of the author. Out of the Fog! A Story of Survival, Faith, and Courage is a book about overcoming addictions, but it is also an engrossing and entertaining adventure about finding joy, purpose, and freedom.