cover image Welcome to the Slipstream

Welcome to the Slipstream

Natalka Burian. Merit, $17.99 (272p) ISBN 978-1-5072-0075-9

Seventeen-year-old Van Lowell feels out of her depth after being whisked to yet another city by her mother, Sofia, who runs a consulting business and manages her manic and depressive episodes—both with mixed results. Van, Sofia, and Van’s longtime nanny, Ida, have just moved from Uzbekistan to Las Vegas, where Sofia will be working with a local casino and hotel. Having been out of medication for weeks, Sofia almost immediately quarantines herself in the hotel, and Van finds a needed outlet by joining a band with her new friend and crush, Alex. After Sofia disappears into the desert with her “astrotherapist” on a spiritual mission, Van heads to Sedona to track her down. The psychological pressures Van is under are deeply felt as she worries that she will become like her mother and struggles to adapt to her family’s fluctuating circumstances. While the detour into the realm of cults and con artists makes for a slightly disjointed narrative, Burian sensitively investigates the complexities of caring for someone who has no desire to be saved. Ages 14–up. [em]Agent: Kate Johnson, Wolf Literary Services. (June) [/em]