Book review: "A Small Boat at the Bottom of the Sea" |

Book review: "A Small Boat at the Bottom of the Sea"

“A Small Boat at the Bottom of the Sea”

By John Thompson

Twelve-year-old Donovan doesn’t really understand why he’s being sent to spend the summer in Oregon with his Aunt Hattie and Uncle Bix. He hasn’t seen them for years and doesn’t really know them.

When he arrives, he is immediately set to the dangerous task of raising a small boat that sunk many years ago. His uncle insists that he can fix the motor and make it useful again. That’s what Uncle Bix does. He takes broken, rusted, discarded junk and makes it work like new again. Unfortunately, he can’t do the same for his past mistakes.

Through Donovan’s eyes, “A Small Boat…” takes the reader on a journey of exploration about why people make the choices they do and the regrets they may have. Donovan also finds that there’s more to his uncle than meets the eye. Donovan and his aunt are both afraid that Uncle Bix is getting mixed up with trouble again. His old prison pal, Gus Banks, seems to be leading him back down a dark and dangerous path, and there’s little he or his dying aunt can do about it.

Thompson cautions us that, for better or worse, it’s the choices you make that shape your life and you must be careful in making them. He also shows us that people can and do change. Relationships can be mended and mistakes, while permanent, can be atoned for. It’s not easy and can, as is in Uncle Bix’s case, be very dangerous. But, in the end, it’s absolutely worth it.

-Reviewer Carol Dexter is an aspiring author and wildlife photographer who lives in the little town of Washington. Author John Thompson is a wildlife biologist and conservationist who lives in Penn Valley.

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