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Familiar Diversions

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

Currently reading

A Rational Arrangement
Rowyn Ashby
Progress: 13/537 pages
FREE: Locke & Key
Tatiana Maslany, Audible Studios, Joe Hill, Gabriel Rodríguez, Kate Mulgrew, Haley Joel Osment, Full Cast
Progress: 91/806 minutes
The Ginza Ghost: and other stories
Ho-Ling Wong, Keikichi Ōsaka
Progress: 82/203 pages
Who?
Algis Budrys
To Say Nothing of the Dog: Or How We Found the Bishop's Bird Stump at Last
Connie Willis, Recorded Books LLC, Steven Crossley
The Invisible Orientation: An Introduction to Asexuality
Julie Sondra Decker
The Mystic Marriage
Heather Rose Jones
Progress: 302/426 pages
Ichi-F: A Worker's Graphic Memoir of the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant
Kazuto Tatsuta
Progress: 448/553 pages
Fluency
Jennifer Foehner Wells
Progress: 58/367 pages

"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.)