Pursuit of Light: An Extraordinary Journey
Peach Tree House, 2007, 224 pages, $24.95
(Self-help, Memoir, Inspirational)
“Every moment is a choice, and every choice reverberates . . .
Every moment presents an opportunity to ‘pay it forward’.”
Abuse is not a chosen lifestyle for the child placed there by
the abuser. Sandy Brewer relates the trauma of rejection and
abuse she lived through as a child, and how she chose to reach
a better life where, eventually, she found love and acceptance.
When faced with a situation, in this case abuse based on
rejection by her mother, the way out is by choice. Either
choosing to succumb to the abuse, or to follow the line of abuse
and grow to be an abuser as well, or to come to terms with
oneself, and choose to overcome the abusive environment to
reach the light, the other way of life—the environment of being
loved and accepted by others. But how is this done? For one, it
demands courage, and lots of it. Sandy was a very courageous child,
who withstood harsh, brutal beatings and verbal abuse from her mother.
To be able to bear it is hard to comprehend.
From being kicked and flung into the wall at the age of two, to
being forced by a father to drink a ‘poisoned’ drink, Brewer’s
willpower to survive pulled her through. Yet with all she went
through as a child, she was able to find the courage and
determination to end the familial cycle of abuse, one she was
determined not to pass on to her future generations.
Brewer uses a technique of flashbacks to take the reader back to
her abusive childhood. By doing so, she is telling two stories
side-by-side: the first story is the one of her horrific childhood living
in an abusive environment, the second her life as an adult and her
journey out of the dark into the light. Brewer is proof that miracles happen.
I liked the way I was drawn to keep reading, the realization of
questioning what else could possibly follow as if this (whatever was
mentioned) wasn’t bad enough. I found a connection to the uncertainty
an adoptee experiences, even in the best stable and peaceful family
surroundings, where Brewer writes, “. . . I was aware of the blank,
missing pieces of my life. I just didn’t know what they were, and I had no
one to turn to, no one to ask about it. . . “
The heavy use of dialogue throughout helps us see the characters
much more in depth than had she chosen to use simple prose. The
combination of lessons Brewer intends to teach the reader weaved
into the story line makes for an easy read of a very disturbing and
otherwise difficult to read subject.
I highly recommend that every new parent read Brewer’s book to
experience the effects of parental abuse on children and hope it will
lead to the correct choice, and an end to parental abuse. The world
will be a better place to live if only this could be achieved.
To learn more about the author and the book visit
What do you think–is parental abuse a cycle passed on from
generation to generation? Have you read this book? Leave a
comment or questions for Sandy below.
Till next time,