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3.77  ·  Rating details ·  44 ratings  ·  24 reviews
When everything around you is sinking, sometimes it takes desperate measures to stay afloat. When Duncan Leland looks down at the garbage-strewn beach beneath his office window, he sees the words God Help Us scrawled in the sand. While it seems a fitting message-not only is Duncan's business underwater, but his marriage is drowning as well-he goes down to the beach to eras ...more
Paperback, 300 pages
Published February 1st 2013 by Ashland Creek Press
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3.77  · 
Rating details
 ·  44 ratings  ·  24 reviews

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Nov 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful — and funny! My apologies to this book, which I left adrift on the shelf, thinking a drama about infertility, over-fishing and polluted oceans might not appeal. Fortunately, I picked it up first thing after listening to a TEDxRainier talk about ocean conservation by Seattle Aquarium President Bob Davidson.

I was delighted and, by the end, absolutely cheering the craft and wit. It's flows from sentence to paragraph, scene to plot with waves of cleverness and insight.

My only regret is tha
George Rosen
Dec 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
At its best, which is often, FLOAT reads as if written by the secret daughter of P.G. Wodehouse and Rachel Carson, at once hilarious and gracefully disturbing. A real delight.
Genevieve Montcombroux
Disjointed novel.
Jun 16, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Started out with good character development but the plot unraveled by mid-book. The end was just silly.
Mar 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
Float is a multifaceted gem of New England life. Duncan Leland, called home after his father's death by drowning, is running his family's fish parts processing plant in coastal Maine...running it into the ground. His life is falling apart. His wife has been trying to get pregnant and cannot put up with his dithering dreaminess. His ex high-school girlfriend has her eyes on him again. His business is bankrupt and the only money available comes from a stranger who is undoubtedly connected to the B ...more
Janet Gardner
Mar 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I liked, but didn’t love, this novel. It’s the story of Duncan Leland of hardscrabble Port Ellery, Maine. The family business is falling apart fast, his marriage may be falling apart even faster, his mother’s sanity is in question, and the town’s most unsavory citizens seem to be closing in, hungry vultures circling the wreckage of his life. And that’s before he ends up an unwilling YouTube star and town laughingstock when he’s filmed saving an injured seagull in a highly undignified manner. The ...more
Angie ~aka Reading Machine~
Duncan Leland's business and marriage are drowning in a sea of forgetfulness. If Duncan soon doesn't do something he'll lose them both. Duncan is caught rescuing seagull on camera becoming something of an overnight sensation. Duncan and his wife Cora are trying to get pregnant through invitro fertizlation. Duncan has strange relationship with his mother and brother. Duncan is offered a way to save his company and jumps at the chance reluctantly. Can Duncan's business be saved? Can Duncan's marri ...more
Catherine Parnell
Feb 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Float is a deftly written novel that manages to deliver an important environmental message about plastics and pollution even as it maintains a darkly humorous narrative line about the pecadillos of family life. From the beginning, when Duncan Leland finds God Help Us scratched into the sand, to the end, when Kelp Day brings all the story lines together, readers are going to feel deeply and painfully Duncan's dilemma—his business is tanking, his marriage is floundering, his mother and brother are ...more
Mindy Mejia
Feb 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ecolit
The epigraph at the beginning of Float immediately warmed me to the story that followed:
"To have faith is to trust yourself to the water. When you swim you don't grab hold of the water, because if you do you will sink and drown. Instead you relax, and float." -Alan Watts
Watts has long been one of my favorite philosophers and his words are the perfect guide to this fresh, funny, and earnest book about a man who seems to grab at the polluted water of his own life. Duncan Leland is an endearing bum
Mar 01, 2014 rated it liked it
Well-written, but occasionally it seemed like there were too many characters and too many threads for a relatively short book. Duncan's marriage, Duncan's job, Syrie, the crazy mother, Nod's issues, Slocum's food, mobster theories, Adoniram, Josefa and Kelp, the special floor...and then while the storm provided a fantastic climax, the ending with Everard the wealthy attorney finally making the mom's life magically meaningful again seemed too easy. And the thing with the dad's body kind of came o ...more
Rubery Book Award
Mar 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014-winners
2nd Prize Winner in the Rubery Book Award
This is a gloriously funny and perceptive book with an unpredictable plot, populated by unique characters. Cleverly titled, it’s about impending financial ruin, the abundance of plastic that washes up on beaches, a rescue centre for seagulls and art – amongst other things. A terrific read, unfortunately let down by the fact that half the pages are falling out!
From the judges at Rubery Book Award
Gordon Baird
Feb 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book. Totally got me into her world, her characters so wonderfully flawed. Great turnaround by the end and also great criss-crossing plots to get there. But the writing is truly excellent, like a great skier coming down an impressive mountain. I read it, read another book and half way through put it down, went back and read Float a second time. Even better. More, please . . .
Jan 28, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: abandoned
Plot sounded really interesting but I couldn't get past the first chapter. Absolutely drowning in excessive adjectives and similes like "marriage began to spiral down the drain" and "those worries began to bloom like algae in a stagnant pond".
Jeanne Agee
Jun 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
Great story. Once I was finally able to sit down long enough to really get into this I couldn't put it down. Story was very entertaining. Many parts funny and others seemed like things that anyone could find themselves stuck in. You need to read this book!!!
Jun 23, 2013 added it
Pretty good book. It got boring at some parts, but overall, not that bad.
Jul 10, 2013 rated it liked it
Recommended to Monica by: Lea
Almost hopeless enough that I stopped caring about him, there was enough crazy that I wanted to see where it all ended up.
Feb 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Very creative, great message!
Jan 15, 2014 marked it as couldnt-get-into
promised to be amusing, by 30 pages was not.
MB (What she read)
Jan 28, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, read-in-2013
3.5 stars. Creative and complicated
Lorine Kritzer
Jun 30, 2013 rated it it was ok
A humorous take on families, art and the environment, but there is too much going on and I predicted the surprise early on.
Oct 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
Well done! Enjoyed the mystery behind the story.
Mar 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
I liked this story and it's wonderful tidbits of advice. I found humor and startling events that made the book very entertaining.
Laura Harrington
Mar 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
Laugh out loud funny about a chilling topic. The environmental disaster that is plastic is handled with wonderful dark humor.
A great companion to this book would be "Plastic Free."
Jul 06, 2015 rated it it was ok
Not a fan! While it was well-written, I did not like the characters. Everyone was weak and weird. Not my cup of tea.
rated it really liked it
Nov 01, 2016
rated it it was ok
Dec 23, 2018
Fabiola Charles
rated it liked it
May 23, 2015
rated it really liked it
Mar 09, 2013
rated it it was amazing
Jun 27, 2013
John Yunker
rated it it was amazing
Jan 31, 2013
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JoeAnn Hart is the author of the true crime memoir, Stamford ’76: A True Story of Murder, Corruption, Race, and Feminism in the 1970s (University of Iowa Press, April, 2019), and the novels Float and Addled. Her short fiction, essays, and articles have appeared in a wide variety of publications, including the Boston Globe Magazine, The Stamford Advocate, Design New England, Orion, Solstice, and th ...more
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