Tara Marconi has made her way from Philly to "the Rock," a remote island in Alaska governed by the seasons. Read more...
Tara Marconi has made her way from Philly to "the Rock," a remote island in Alaska governed by the seasons. Her mother's death left her unmoored, with a seemingly impassable rift between her and her father. But in this majestic, rugged frontier she works her way up the commercial fishing ladder--from hatchery assistant all the way to king crabber. Disciplined from years as a young boxer, she learns anew what it means to work, to connect, and--through an unlikely old tugboat -- how to make a home she knows is her own.
A testament to the places that shape us and the places that change us, The Alaskan Laundry tells one woman's unforgettable journey back to the possibility of love.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2016-02-01
- Reviewer: Staff
Still smarting from her mother’s recent death and her father’s subsequent emotional detachment, recent high school graduate Tara Marconi leaves her beloved Philadelphia (and the security of her high school boyfriend, Connor) for an entirely different world: the fishing boats and processing plants of Alaska. Once there, the amateur boxer encounters plenty of violence and danger, as well as the opportunity—for better or for worse—to finally confront elements of her own uncomfortable past. The depictions of the landscape’s harsh beauty and the rugged, damaged characters inhabiting it are well realized; Tara’s motivations, however, are not nearly as well developed. Her overwhelming desire to own and inhabit a dilapidated tugboat—prompting her to take on increasingly dangerous jobs to earn money—is never fully plumbed, nor is her persistent attachment to distant folks back home, despite the lack of any genuine revelations or changes of heart on either part. Her friendship with a scrappy but likable fellow laborer is appealing; less so is her uncomfortable relationship with an older Native man, whose supposed air of menace is never adequately demonstrated or explained. A debut that will leave some readers out in the cold. (Apr.)