Little Ships

A Novel

Fiction - Literary
368 Pages
Reviewed on 03/16/2024
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Author Biography

Sandra Scofield has always been a novelist. Her first book was about a lost girl in the woods, of course! She has written 8 novels and a memoir, a book of essays, and 2 craft books for writers. For many years she taught--in elementary, secondary, and university levels. . She is also a painter. She lives in a multigenerational household in Missoula, Montana, with four dogs and a very old cat.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Christine Nguyen for Readers' Favorite

Little Ships by Sandra Scofield is a novel based on a family dealing with the early death of their mother, Karin. The young girls, Juni at age thirteen and Tilde at twelve, are comforted by their fraternal grandmother, Eleanor, and their Swedish maternal grandmother, Helve. Eleanor wants to support her son, Nick, in getting back on his feet as a pharmacist and providing for his family. Tensions are high as the girls want to live with Helve or “Mormor” since they did not have much contact with Eleanor when their mother was alive. Eleanor and Helve have a strained relationship as they try to navigate the difficulties of getting Juni and Tilde adjusted to a new public school when they have been home-schooled for years. Eleanor and Helve discover layers of family secrets that enable them to build a tentative and unexpected friendship that helps the girls adjust to their new lives.

Author Sandra Scofield weaves a complicated and dark family story that draws the reader in, one layer at a time, revealing the complexities of each character slowly and thoughtfully. The character development is strong in the female characters of Junie, Tilde, Eleanor, and Helve with a well-written and intriguing storyline. There were many thought-provoking revelations in the plot that kept me completely absorbed. The storyline was unique and completely unpredictable. I also liked how the author didn’t rush the story, but painstakingly took her time to build a nuanced family dynamic that makes Little Ships a gripping and engaging read.