by Trish Doller
March 2, 2021 by St Martins Griffin
Rating: Chelsey 4 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Olivia 3 Stars ⭐⭐⭐
About Float Plan
Critically acclaimed author Trish Doller’s unforgettable and romantic adult debut about setting sail, starting over, and finding yourself
Since the loss of her fiancé, Anna has been shipwrecked by grief—until a reminder goes off about a trip they were supposed to take together. Impulsively, Anna goes to sea in their sailboat, intending to complete the voyage alone.
But after a treacherous night’s sail, she realizes she can’t do it by herself and hires Keane, a professional sailor, to help. Much like Anna, Keane is struggling with a very different future than the one he had planned. As romance rises with the tide, they discover that it’s never too late to chart a new course.
Trish Doller’s unforgettable adult debut, Float Plan, reminds readers that starting over doesn’t mean forgetting: you can build a new home, right alongside the old.
“One of the things I’ve learned is that suicide doesn’t break a person’s heart just once.”
“Kind is one of the easiest things to be.”
Anna is paralyzed with grief after her fiancé commits suicide. Ten months after his tragic death, Anna gets an alert on her phone that the sailing trip she and Ben planned to take would be starting that day. Impulsively, she decides to take the trip as a way to honor Ben and to try to move forward.
Once on the open water, Anna realizes she’s wholly unprepared and had often relied on Ben’s experience. After a harrowing trip to get to the first port, Anna decides that hiring an experienced crew would be the wise decision going forward.
When Keane responds to Anna’s ad, Anna is relieved and grateful that Keane’s experience and friendly demeanor will accompany her on her journey. Anna’s sailing trip from Fort Lauderdale to Trinidad brings a lot more than a fun adventure and beautiful islands and we watch as Anna comes into her own and begins to develop a life after Ben.
This was a moving and emotional story but also a ton of fun and one that I couldn’t put down. I loved the growth of Anna’s character and her battle with her emotions and her grief. Doller did a tremendous job detailing the grief cycle without making the book too sad. It felt like Doller has had a close personal loss in the way she was so accurately able to verbalize the confusing and conflicting emotions of anger, hurt, sadness, and guilt.
Keane’s character was really well developed and I loved his complex back story, kind soul, and persevering spirit. Not enough books have main characters with disabilities, and I appreciated that Doller highlighted some of the challenges and discriminations Keane faced while also showing how fully able he was.
I thought this book was really sensitive to some difficult subject matters but still overall a really enjoyable and ultimately positive book. It felt well researched (though admittedly I don’t have much experience sailing and haven’t been to many of the specific destinations discussed) and the visuals Doller created of the different islands was really transportive.
I was also really drawn to how well and authentically Doller developed the relationships and camaraderie amongst the other travelers that Keane and Anna encountered.
This is definitely a book I recommend if you’re looking for a sweet romance with some substance and/or you love to travel. Thank you to St. Martin’s Griffin and NetGalley for a copy of this novel.
I got a 1/3 of the way through and ended up DNF’ing the book. I really liked the story, but with-in the first couple of chapters it quickly passed the level of language that I am comfortable with. Too many F-words.
But…. I kept thinking about the story. About working through grief in an honest and authentic way. And I had to know what happened. So I picked it back up.
I still really disliked the language but I loved the journey (literally and figuratively) that Anna went on. The growing, the healing, the relationship and the travel itself felt authentic and it was an uplifting story to read.