Out of the Fog! A Story of Survival, Faith and Courage

Non-Fiction - Self Help
323 Pages
Reviewed on 03/17/2021
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Karen Walpole for Readers' Favorite

In Out of the Fog! A Story of Survival, Faith and Courage, Sandra CH Smith tells her life story. Smith, an intelligent, educated, and talented young mother of two begins to rely more and more on alcohol to deal with her unhappy life and manipulative husband. Her husband’s controlling and condescending ways destroy Sandra Smith’s self-confidence and her life and drinking spiral out of control. She eventually finds a 12-step program that saves her from suicidal despair and leads her to a relationship with her Higher Power. To free herself from her toxic marriage, she must start over with almost nothing.

The book describes her slow and steady progress toward a courageous and fulfilling life. She deals with relationships with her children and her critical mother and gains strength from each obstacle and success. After regaining equilibrium and establishing herself again financially, she decides to buy and live aboard a 35-foot sailboat. Knowing nothing about sailing, she courageously teaches herself and learns from others until she becomes a sailing master. Throughout her journey, Sandra Smith relies on her Higher Power, the 12-step program, and her mantra “Everything will be alright.”

I found Out of the Fog! A Story of Survival, Faith and Courage thrilling and inspiring. Anyone who has experienced drug or alcohol abuse or lived with an abusive spouse or partner needs to read this remarkable story of pain, recovery, hope, and triumph. There’s a joyous life out there waiting for each of us. Having the courage to try new things and trust that everything will turn out okay is the lesson I took from Out of the Fog! by Sandra CH Smith. Gaining strength from our Higher Power and living without limits will help us find the way to a fulfilled life.

Grace Masso

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, seemingly had everything anyone could want. But she was also on the bottom rung of her misery and was faced with choices to change her life and find 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.

Tammy Ruggles

Out of the Fog! A Story of Survival, Faith and Courage by Sandra CH Smith is an engrossing self-help book that reads like a compelling novel. The author tells of her tough, unique, and inspiring journey from addiction to recovery. Smith had it all, a dream life in the suburbs, designer clothes, dinner parties, charity boards, a successful career--until addiction reared its monstrous head. But she faced her fears and entered an enriching life of adventure when, after 8 years of being sober, she bought a 35-foot sailboat, learned how to sail, and set out to sea by herself for the most part, but with her difficult adolescent daughter on occasion. Disposing of electronic navigation systems, she spent seven years in the Pacific seeking spirituality, and herself. She adopted Christopher Columbus's way of navigation but didn't count on making a mistake that took her off-course.

Smith is brave to share the hardships and joys she experienced on her inward and outward journey, and readers can greatly benefit from all of it, especially if needing help fighting addiction and parenting a teenage daughter. As you read, you may feel a wide range of emotions for Smith, from surprise to shock to empathy to admiration. She writes with a candor one can appreciate because sugar-coating addiction and family strife can exacerbate the problem. Along with the hard times, you will also feel the surging tides of hope, faith, and courage. I love how this author pulls you right into her life, scene by scene, and you take this journey with her, wondering how you would fare in such circumstances. The descriptions are detailed and colorful, the narrative honest and clear, and when you reach the end, you will feel both informed and uplifted. Out of the Fog! A Story of Survival, Faith and Courage by Sandra CH Smith is an emotional journey of faith and strength.