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Familiar Diversions

I'm a librarian who loves anime, manga, and reading a wide variety of genres.

Currently reading

Lying in Wait
Liz Nugent
Progress: 28/310 pages
The Shape of Water
Guillermo del Toro, Daniel Kraus
Progress: 72/313 pages
To Siri with Love: A Mother, Her Autistic Son, and the Kindness of Machines
Judith Newman
Princess Prince
Tomoko Taniguchi
Progress: 310/336 pages
Other Minds: The Octopus, the Sea, and the Deep Origins of Consciousness
Peter Godfrey-Smith
Progress: 41/255 pages
FREE: Locke & Key
Tatiana Maslany, Audible Studios, Joe Hill, Gabriel RodrĂ­guez, Kate Mulgrew, Haley Joel Osment, Full Cast
Progress: 91/806 minutes

"The Laundress of Silver Lake" by Julie Jansen

The Laundress of Silver Lake - Julie  Jansen

Ever since Freading “upgraded” their site, the only way I've been able to open their e-books on my tablet is with the Freading app. I currently have this story and a novel checked out via Freading, and I decided a short story would be a less daunting way to try out the app.

This story is very short, only five or six pages according to the app. The main character, Arvid, is investigating sightings of the Laundress of Silver Lake. Josephine Fritzkiev, the legendary Laundress, was able to get clothes amazingly white. No matter how often people asked her, she never shared her secret. When Silver Lake and all its inhabitants were vaporized by a massive solar flare in 2270, it was assumed that Josephine's secret had died with her. Now, over a decade later, people swear they keep seeing her out and about, washing dirty laundry. Those who have tried to find her have never returned. Arvid is determined to get to the bottom of this mystery.

Arvid was not a very intelligent person. Either that, or he was a complete and utter urbanite who had somehow never learned that nature could be dangerous.

The secret to Josephine's clothes whitening abilities was mildly humorous (in a dark sort of way), but I was left with a lot of questions. If a solar flare had somehow destroyed the town of Silver Lake, would there really have been that many animals and that much greenery left in the area? Can solar flares even do something like that? Prior to the solar flare, how did Josephine manage to deal with the significant drawback of her clothes whitening technique without anybody noticing? After the solar flare, why did she stick around? Was doing laundry really her only purpose in life? And what kind of purpose is that, when there's no one else around who has laundry that needs doing?

I might have enjoyed Josephine's secret more if

I hadn't seen Jurassic Park. “The Laundress of Silver Lake” reminded me a little too much of one particular scene.

(show spoiler)

 

(Original review, including my first and possibly last impressions of the Freading app, posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions. The Freading app is depressingly clunky.)