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20th Annual Writer's Digest Annual Self-Published Book Awards

PURSUIT OF LIGHT is one of those rare personal stories that doesn't just describe an impossibly difficult life that was overcome and transformed to something good, it goes further than that, offering counseling for the reader's own journey. That is the book's key strength. Another is Ms Brewer's representation of her younger self's inner thoughts and feelings, as that young girl struggled physically for survival against the horrifying depredations of her own parents. These passages, though harrowing to read, are very well done. The author chose to skip back and forth in time, to give perspective to her narrative of abuse even as she's telling it. This is a challenging thing to do, but she pulls it off pretty darn well. It's a much more sophisticated way to tell a story than simply going chronologically, which can get numbing for the reader.

Pursuit Of Light by Sandy Brewer
An Extraordinary Journey From Abuse to Hope
© Sandra Williams
formerly posted on
Jan 4, 2009

Sandy Brewer combines this memoir with self-help openly, so it's emotional and effective.

Sandy Brewer is a survivor. As a child she endured horrific abuse and almost died at the hands of her parents. More recently she fought cancer. Not surprisingly, she's bouncing back.

What’s inspiring about Pursuit of Light is the message Sandy Brewer portrays to people. She shares her past in order to enhance her message of hope and change for others. No matter how bad someone’s past is it’s possible to be successful and happy now.

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Review by Gloria Oren, writer, book reviewer, and editor at Gloria's Corner

"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.

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Review by Liz Loveland of the US Review of Books

"No true change is going to happen without choice. And no true choice is going to be implemented without will, heavily laced with more than a little courage."

Pursuit Of Light, winner of the Eric Hoffer Award, is an unusual book in the abuse memoir genre. Unlike the majority of books of this type, it is not presented as a straight, chronological narrative, wherein the author describes their experiences and, often, then their personal healing process. To the contrary, Brewer presents philosophical musings and personal experiences about the nature of surviving and healing intermingled with anecdotes of abuse from her childhood, with the book culminating in some anecdotes about her adult life and people she has treated as a therapist.

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Sally Huss, Artist, Author and Creator of Happy Musings, offered this insightful and powerful review.

"If life never gives us more than we can bear, Sandy Brewer is a Paul Bunyan among human beings. Not even Stephen King could have dreamed up such a hellish life as the one Sandy experienced as a child. And perhaps no one but Sandy with her tremendous fortitude could have survived it and then found her way into the Light. Read entire review

Review of Pursuit of Light and introduction of Sandy in podcast interview with Greg Voisin, Founder of Compassionate Communications.

I was recently introduced to Sandy Brewer through a friend in Los Angeles.  She mentioned that I needed to contact Sandy to do a podcast for she felt that her book and story about her life were nothing less than amazing.  I contacted Sandy and we spoke for awhile about her book and upbringing and I was convinced that I needed to let more people know about this amazing woman.  I received her book Read entire review

By Diane Amento Owens, Wise Women And Blooming Boomer Blog

Dr. Phil has said, "Stand up and walk out of your history." In Pursuit of Light, Sandy Brewer tells of her abusive childhood at the hands of her parents and her search for recovery from this unhappy beginning.

Part memoir, part self-help, Pursuit of Light could have been just a tragic recount of the abuse the author suffered with as a child. But Sandy doesn't want the sympathy vote ... Read entire review

One of the most respected book reviewers, The Midwest Book Review, had this to say:

"The debut title of the newly launched publishing firm of PeachTreeHouse, "Pursuit of Light: An Extraordinary Journey" by public speaker, therapist, coach and humanitarian Sandy Brewer blends autobiography with compassion, wit and ... Read entire review

Gretchen's facebook blog

Pursuit of Light: An Extraordinary Journey by Sandy Brewer has to be one of the most interesting auto-biography/self-help books I have ever read. I really wasn't prepared for what I was about to read. Not that I wasn't aware of the sensitive subject matter that Sandy would describe, but the depth of emotion and detail of each chapter made the book hard to put down. Read entire review

Early acclaim for PURSUIT OF LIGHT

Through Suffering to the Stars
Review by Scott Flora, About Books, Inc.

Pursuit of Light: An Extraordinary Journey by Sandy Brewer. $24.95 hardcover, ISBN 978-0-9796554-4-9, published by PeachTreeHouse, Inc, P.O. Box 1008, Carlsbad, CA 92008. (760) 230-8123.

Is your life what has happened to you, or is it what you choose to make of it? Do you have a choice to alter what you are, simply by viewing your life, as the poet A. R. Ammons has put it, "by the light of a different necessity"?

Light: As the title suggests, this is the master trope of Sandy Brewer's harrowing but also inspiring memoir, ... Read entire review