On Thanksgiving Day, Anna Beck awakens to an alarm reminder her boyfriend Ben Braithwaite set three years earlier. It was to be the day they set sail in his restored Alberg 37 to travel to the Caribbean and back. But Ben committed suicide ten months and six days ago and Anna has barely left her bed. She’s struggled to find something to motivate her to get on with her life and Ben’s plan suddenly gave her focus. Anna gets up, shops for supplies, cleans the boat and sets sail…all alone. She calls her family to let them know and, of course, they have a predictable reaction.
I have to believe that if Anna hadn’t been so miserable she’d never have undertaken a trip like this on her own. Her decision was born of grief and loss, an attempt to gain the ground back under her feet. Her life was Ben and now she had to figure out how to live without him. By the time Anna made it to Bimini, she knew she needed help after some close calls in the open waters. She hires on an Irishman named Keane Sullivan who’s looking for a ride to Puerto Rico. He’s got lots of experience, stories and his own disappointments but he’s just the grounding Anna needs. I loved how authentically Anna expressed her sadness, grief, despair and anger about Ben’s decision to take his life. I’ve never experienced that kind of loss but I connected with her sense of being rudderless after the death of someone important in your life. There were moments when I got emotional because I remembered what she was feeling in those moments.
Keane and Anna’s relationship is what made this story even more special. To categorize it as friends to lovers trivializes what I found to be a lovely growth of friendship, respect and admiration between two strangers who somehow found each other at the right time, in the right place. It wasn’t about a romance as much as it was their individual self discoveries and that led to their loyalty to one another. By the time they drifted into something more, it felt right. I enjoyed everything about this story, including the narrator who seemed to capture Anna’s youth, naïveté and sorrow. I liked how she handled the gradual transitions of her emotions. And, I learned a lot about sailing, enough to know definitively that I’d never attempt this kind of trip on my own. Oh! And I discovered the author has another book scheduled for release in March featuring Anna’s sister, Rachel. Count me in.
- Release Date: March 2, 2021
- Narrator: Sarah Naughton
- Audio Length: 7 hours, 18 minutes
- Publisher: Macmillan Audio