In waters as far and icy as the Bering Sea, a fierce, lost young woman finds herself through the hard work of fishing and the stubborn love of real friendship.
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.
"The Alaskan Laundry is a gorgeous and powerful novel that succeeds both as a page-turning adventure story and an evocative exploration of the meaning of home. With acute psychological precision and a naturalist's attention to detail, Brendan Jones has created a hauntingly beautiful novel that will stay with me for a long time." - Molly Antopol, author of The Unamericans
"A taut, page-turning narrative, an indomitable heroine, and a rich cast of characters - all steeped in a world where you can smell the tang of kelp at low tide, feel the creak of seiners at their moorings, hear the rustling of the Southeast Alaska rain forest. The Alaskan Laundry plunges the reader into the heart and soul of a unique commercial fishing culture and the story of Tara Marconi, as she struggles for respect, love, inner peace, and a place to call her own. A cinematic tour de force, it offers up an empowering message of hope and resilience." - Nick Jans, author of A Wolf Called Romeo
"There are the easy journeys, the ones that take us where we mean to travel, and there are those we shy from, the dark and uncertain treks of the soul. Without flinching, nineteen-year-old Tara ventures from South Philly to the male - dominated "Rock", an island off the coast of Alaska. True to her boxer instincts, Tara comes out swinging, unsure what the island will make of her. As layers of her former life wash away, she proves as raw and tender as the landscape, as striking and unforgettable. A promising debut, true to the core - a novel of grit and redemption." - Deb Vanasse, author of Cold Spell and Out of the Wilderness
"The Alaskan Laundry is a novel of bracing air that gets deep into your lungs. As Tara Marconi reinvents herself in Alaska, we see all facets of the American dream of self-reliance and boundless possibility play out on the stage of the Last Frontier. A strong, singular person grows in these pages. Like a protagonist in a Daniel Woodrell novel, she is stubborn, heroic, and capable of anything." - Will Chancellor, author of A Brave Man Seven Storeys Tall
"A fresh voice in contemporary realism arrives on the scene in this coming-of-age novel. Fierce and flawed, protagonist Tara Marconi leaves the Lower 48 behind to cut her teeth on the Alaskan wilderness, searching for salvation in the notion that 'people come to Alaska to wash themselves clean.' Jones's dynamic love of America's last frontier comes through in spare, gripping prose." - Suzanne Rindell, author of The Other Typist