Ship in a Bottle is a 372 novel by Ilonan Nadin Borville. It was originally written in Ilonan, but today is in publication almost exclusively in Cosprak. It tells two stories about the same woman: Lorilé Ambin, a sailor from an unspecified island that parallels Ilona. The chapters alternate between the two stories. In one, Lorilé is a sailor just before the extinction of the whales, which took place significantly prior to the book's publication. The second takes place in the modern day and tells the story of a land-bound Lorilé, who in this version now works as an engineer, building vessels for the Island Union. She keeps a sailing ship in a bottle on her mantlepiece, which is where the title comes from.
Apart from the fact that the novel tells two stories about the same woman that are each set too far from the other for it to have been possible for Lorilé to be alive in both eras, it is largely realistic. It contains large amounts of nonfictional information about the history and art of sailing.
A staple of literature classes, Ship in a Bottle inspires mixed feelings in its readers, who are for the most part secondary students. Its nonfictional components and dense prose make it a difficult book to read, as does its antiquated writing style. However, there are many adults who insist that the book should be read at least twice: once in schools and once again when the reader has matured to some degree, as the whaling story represents childhood and the contemporary story represents adulthood, and one can understand both only one has experienced each.