Thank you to St Martin’s Press for providing a review copy of Float Plan
I’ll be honest – when I saw Float Plan on Netgalley, I thought it was going to be a romantic comedy because of the bright and cheery cover. Don’t be fooled – even though the cover is sunny and reminiscent of the current illustrated romance cover trend – Float Plan is an emotional rollercoaster of a book and will definitely make you feel so much.
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.
In Trish Doller’s unforgettable Float Plan, starting over doesn’t mean letting go of your past, it means making room for your future.
From a plot point of view – this book is heartbreaking. It’s the story of Anna, whose fiance died of suicide a few months prior to this story. Anna decides to leave her life behind and attempt to complete the sailing trip that she and her late fiance had been planning before his death. It’s also the story of how Anna wades through her grief and tries to find a path forward in life. Outside of this emotionally driven plot, as soon as you pick this book up it’s clear that Trish Doller excels at her world building – you could practically see the tropical fish and the whales and the majesty of the tropics. Every new island that Anna and Keane visited was lushly described, and was a place I would very much like to visit (especially the slavery memorial on Martinique – it was incredibly profound).
Anna was deeply in mourning in the wake of the loss of her fiance when Float Plan started. One of her only ties to him was his sailboat – which she impulsively decides to charter to the Carribean in honor of plans she and her fiance had together. As she took her sailing journey, she made connections with people along the way and really started to come out of her shell and out of the shroud of her mourning. One thing I really appreciated was that her grief didn’t go away as she opened herself up to new people – she simply made emotional space for new people in her life and didn’t forget her late fiance.
Part of what makes this book so magical is the cast of characters – every single one of them was a multifaceted, interesting person who helped Anna’s journey in some way. So many of the characters only made brief appearances, but their impact on Anna’s life was still profound. The biggest example is Keane – he offered to help her sail from Bimini to Puerto Rico, free of charge, and along the way he opened her eyes to life after her fiance and what the tropics had to offer. I also really loved that he was uber-respectful of her emotional state – he never pushed her into doing anything she wasn’t ready for.
Have the tissues of standby for Float Plan – you will definitely run a full gamut of emotions while you read it. You’ll also want to book a post pandemic trip to Caribbean to see some of the sights that Keane and Anna experienced. This was the first book by Trish Doller that I’ve read – and I’m definitely looking forward to exploring the rest of her books. If you’re looking for other great books to read, check out What You Wish For and Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center. 5/5