Monday, July 11, 2022

New Release! The Night Shift by Natalka Burian ~ My Thoughts #TheNightShift

Congratulations Natalka
on the release of
The Night Shift!

The Night Shift by Natalka Burian
City Life Fiction, Magical Realism, 336 pages
Published July 12, 2022 by Park Row

Only by traveling into the past can Jean discover a happy future…

Hidden behind back doors of bars and restaurants and theaters and shops all over New York City are shortcuts—secret passageways that allow you to jump through time and space to emerge in different parts of the city. No one knows where they came from, but there are rules—you can only travel through them one way and only at night.

When Jean’s work friend Iggy introduces her to the shortcuts, it’s to help shorten her commute between her night shifts bartending and her work at an upscale bakery. Jean is intrigued but has a hard time shaking the side effects—the shortcuts make her more talkative, more open to discussing her past and recalling memories she’s tried hard to forget.

When Iggy goes missing, Jean believes it’s related to the shortcuts and his growing obsession with them. But as she starts digging into their origins, she comes to find a strange connection between herself and the shortcuts. A shimmering, propulsive novel set in New York City during the early aughts and across time, The Night Shift shows that by confronting the past can we reshape our future.  


My thoughts about The Night Shift ~~

(I love to note the first lines of the books I'm reading. First lines can really grab a reader's attention and I love seeing where the author takes the reader after their first line.)

First line—"Waking up late still felt wrong to Jean Smith. She had set her alarm for 6:30AM every weekday—and some Saturdays—since 2001."

I'm a big fan of the idea of time travel and what that might mean to the future... or the present. The Night Shift does a nice job of interweaving the past with the present as Jean and Iggy use the portals that are all around the city to get from place to place, and sometimes to another time. 

Jean is struggling and when she tries to get from one job to her other one, Iggy introduces her to the city's portals. Little does she know that these portals have a deeper connection to her and her past. As she tries to find out what happened to Iggy after he suddenly disappears, secrets start to unfold. She finds out that she is involved way more intricately than she first imagined. 

The Night Shift is full of action and intrigue, with some great characters who are just trying to live their lives. As they race to set things right, will the portals trap them.... or set them free? 

I received an ARC of The Night Shift and this is my honest opinion.

Additional Praise for The Night Shift

· “Blending women’s and speculative fiction, Burian draws readers along on Jean’s emotional path toward self-discovery and deeper understanding of the world around her. The vivid descriptions of New York bring the city to life, creating a character just as palpable as the others. Readers will be hooked.” —Publishers Weekly

· “High-spirited, propulsive, and heart-wrenching, The Night Shift is an achingly compelling look at memory, resiliency, hope, and hustle. Burian weaves a whole new New York City—magical, strange, and free from the everyday trappings of time and space—but this story is resonant and timeless, a bittersweet beauty by a fantastically talented writer.” —Kimberly King Parsons, author of Black Light

About the author

Natalka Burian is the co-owner of two bars, Elsa and Ramona, as well as the co-founder of The Freya Project, a non-profit reading series that supports community-based activism and annually awards five unrestricted grants to further the work of women and non-binary writers.

She is the author of three novels and the cocktail cookbook, A Woman’s Drink. Natalka’s bars and books have been featured in The New Yorker, Elle, Vogue, the New York Times, and elsewhere. She grew up on a farm, but now lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two daughters. ~ Goodreads 

Connect with Natalka


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