Author: Ken Liu
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Touch the past or wash it away? Two sisters have a choice in this unforgettable short story of everyday magic and the power of memory by the Hugo and Nebula Award–winning author Ken Liu.
Gui is a professional cleaner at A Fresh Start, scrubbing away the unpleasant layers of memory that build up on the personal objects of his customers. Memory-blind himself, he can’t feel those wounds. Clara can, and she prefers them irretrievable. Until her sister, Beatrice, ultrasensitive to memory, raises one that could change Clara’s mind. For Gui, the past is gone. For Clara and Beatrice, deciding what to remember reaches to the heart of their shared history.
The Cleaners is part of Faraway, a collection of retold fairy tales that take the happily-ever-after in daring new directions. Whether read or listened to in one sitting, prepare to be charmed, moved, enlightened, and frightened all over again.
This one had an interesting premise, and the author seemed to understand short story structure better than the previous authors in the series. I don’t think both sisters povs were needed though. The emotional connection should have been with the one wanted her memories of her ex erased, but instead it was the cleaner and how he was different from his family. I just wasn’t invested emotionally in this or the any of the stories in the series.