The Alaskan Laun­dry

Passage Maker - - @Rest -

Both in fic­tion and in re­al­ity, Alaska is the last fron­tier, a place one can get lost, test one’s char­ac­ter, and pit one­self against the nat­u­ral world with­out the com­fort of a safety net or tech­nol­ogy. The Alaskan Laun­dry, au­thored by Bren­dan Jones, is the tale of a quest made by his hero­ine, Tara Mar­coni, who leaves be­hind a trou­bled life in Philadel­phia. Fol­low­ing her mother’s death, she is in search of find­ing her­self and find­ing a new place to call home.

The main char­ac­ter’s jour­ney takes her to the lose-your­self re­mote­ness of Alaska, where she moves to a small is­land called The Rock. Here, she is tested by the raw sea­sons as she works through the ranks of com­mer­cial crab fish­ing. Along the way she takes to the sea and buys a WWII tug­boat that she re­stores as a live­aboard. As she climbs the ranks from hatch­ery as­sis­tant to fish­ing, Dead­li­est Catch-style, her jour­ney shows a spir­i­tual re­birth, a shed­ding of her past, and along with it the trou­bled life she left be­hind. The Alaskan Laun­dry re­lies heav­ily on mar­itime themes, cen­tered around both fish­ing and boat­ing, and for those who en­joy div­ing into the nau­ti­cal world head first, this tale is an en­gag­ing story of trans­for­ma­tion and nos­tal­gia.

Jones, too, lives in Alaska, but the sim­i­lar­i­ties with his fic­tional cre­ation don’t end there. Af­ter mov­ing from Philadel­phia, the au­thor bought, lives on, and is in the process of restor­ing a WWII tug­boat. He also worked his way through the ranks of the Alaskan fish­ing in­dus­try. Jones shows a deft hand by re­lat­ing his real-life ex­pe­ri­ences us­ing a be­liev­able and cap­ti­vat­ing fe­male pro­tag­o­nist. What he brings us through­out The Alaskan Laun­dry is that we be­gin to un­der­stand our­selves best when sur­rounded by com­mu­nity rather than soli­tude.

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