Book Review: Float Plan by Trish Doller

Title: Float Plan
Author: Trish Doller
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Publication date: March 16, 2021
Length: 272 pages
Genre: Contemporary romance
Source: Library

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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.

In Trish Doller’s unforgettable Float Plan, starting over doesn’t mean letting go of your past, it means making room for your future.

I really didn’t know what to expect from Float Plan — I’m so glad I gave it a chance!

I expected a light-hearted book about sailing… but what I got was a story about grief and loss, starting to live again after tragedy, and finding a way to discover joy and hope even in dark times.

Content warning: This book deals significantly with suicide and the impact on those left behind. For readers for whom this might be a triggering topic, I would advise proceeding with caution, if at all.

As Float Plan opens, it’s been 10 months since Anna’s fiancé Ben took his own life. Although he’d been struggling with depression, his suicide was a complete shock, and left Anna bereft, deeply in mourning, and unable to to move forward.

One of Ben’s pet projects had been charting a sailing trip through the Caribbean — a trip that he and Anna never got to take. But when Anna gets a reminder on her phone on the day that their trip should have begun, she impulsively heads back to their sailboat and sets out, determined to follow the course that Ben charted.

However, Anna has limited experience as a sailor and has never sailed solo, and after some near misses (as well as an embarrassingly bad drunken night out in her first port of call), she realizes that maybe she shouldn’t be attempting this journey on her own. Enter Keane, an experienced sailor available to assist in exchange for passage to Puerto Rico. He’s charming, considerate, and an excellent sailor, but has his own sorrows and disappointments to face down.

Together, Anna and Keane set sail, experiencing beautiful high points amidst the islands they visit, as well as dangerously rough seas and emotional low points too. And as expected, their professional agreement leads them to forming a close friendship that eventually becomes something even greater, if only they can allow themselves to feel what they’re feeling.

While some of Anna’s decision’s seem dubious, I could easily believe that a young woman suffering such awful grief would decide to take on a risky adventure that she wasn’t actually prepared for. With Keane there to assist, Anna had the opportunity to stick to her plan, but also get the skills and knowledge she needs to accomplish what she set out to do. This was not the dreaded storyline of a woman needing a strong man to save her; instead, this story showed two people able to support one another through hard times and whose abilities and personalities complemented each other. In some ways, Anna and Keane rescue one another, yet it’s also very much a partnership.

Of course, the armchair tourist appeal is a huge plus! I was both loving the descriptions of the gorgeous seas and islands and hating the fact that I wasn’t along for the ride!

I really enjoyed Anna and Keane’s chemistry, the slow development of their romantic feelings, and the way the author gives Anna time and space to come to terms with Ben’s death. She’s given room to vent her anger and her sorrow, and ultimately to realize that she can and does have a life without Ben in it. She’ll always love him, but she can also have love again without him.

At the start of the book, Anna is 25-years-old and working at a pirate-themed bar in Florida. My only two small complaints are (1) it’s not really clear to me how she was able to afford to literally sail off on the spur of the moment and have the funds to support the journey, and (2) there’s no discussion of what Anna’s plans for her life were prior to Ben’s death. Education? Career goals? Never mentioned.

Other than that, I though Float Plan gave a lovely view of rediscovering hope after suffering a terrible loss. The characters are memorable, and their dynamic was terrific to watch unfold. The next book by the author focuses on Anna’s older sister, and while I don’t know more than that, I liked Float Plan so much that I’m eager to read the next book too!








6 thoughts on “Book Review: Float Plan by Trish Doller

  1. I loved this book…the islands they visited, their friendship and love, how Anna grew into her own over the course of the book…pretty much everything 😀

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