Cover Image: The Night Always Comes

The Night Always Comes

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

This really captured the struggle of those that live paycheck to paycheck and areas of increased gentrification and wealth.     Lynette is definitely not a perfect protagonist, but I understand the desperation that drove her to some of her choices.     She wanted to own something that was hers, which is really quintessentially the American dream, but had so many strikes against her (her parents, her mental health, her limited education, her special needs brother), so I was definitely rooting for her.
Was this review helpful?
Another in a stunning series of books by a great writer. Vlautin takes up where Steinbeck left off in chronicling the woes of the working class in America. His characters and his dialogue are spot on. This is life smacking you in the face. Beautifully rendered with heart and soul. Empathy for the plight of his characters permeates the page. A wonderful heart-felt rendering of life in the age of the shrinking middle-class.
Was this review helpful?
Thanks to NetGalley and Harper for allowing me to read and review this book. Published April 6, 2021.

This story is two days in the life of Lynette. Inching towards thirty years old she is still living with her mother and mentally disabled brother. Not that she hasn't lived elsewhere, but due to her own mental instability she ended back up at home.

Lynette is striving toward home ownership. She works herself crazy - in addition to being the main caregiver for Kenny her older brother, while her mother spends mostly idle hours laying on the couch watching TV and smoking.

Expecting her mother to carry the most of a loan to buy the house they are currently in, things begin to fall apart. Lynette takes major chances, not all of them legal, to acquire the $80,000 down payment, only to find out that there is more pressing problems ahead.

I really enjoyed this short book. It read well and was easy to like the protagonist, and just as easy to dislike a portion of the characters. The story was well balanced and plot driven. The ending was great - however not what you really expected. This was my first Vlautin book, but probably not my last.
Was this review helpful?
Dark, gritty, and somehow unputdownable. Some of the writing style was weird and I almost felt like I was reading a play, with physical character descriptions and pages of dialogue. But a quick read and one I’ll think about for a while.
Was this review helpful?
I just could not read this book. None of the characters were engaging and the woman at the center had so little personality that she was just a cipher.
Was this review helpful?
This book was so bleak. I really appreciated the glimpse into gentrification and the awful domino effect that comes along with it, but I felt that the plot itself seemed discombobulated and that I didn't connect to the main character enough to feel emotionally impacted. I wanted more of her internal thoughts rather than just a telling of events. I also felt that in a story like this so focused on gentrification, it would have been great to dive into how racism comes into play, but that factor was never mentioned.
Was this review helpful?
I am not sure how I feel about this book.  The story is compelling and I couldn’t put it down, but it is depressing, raw, and an emotional rollarcoaster.  It contains violence, drugs, self-loathing.  But it is well written and sadly, I feel it is realistic.  It is a coming of age story.
Was this review helpful?
This is a depressing, ugly story. It is about Lynette's fight for survival, and moving up the social ladder. On the way she's fighting against all odds, society and her own mother.
She is one of the forgotten people, the ones on the fringe, working 2, 3 4 jobs in housing that barely stands, driving cars (or taking buses) for hours to get to minimum wage jobs that never, ever, ever cover the bills. Slowly being pushed out of their housing neighborhood by the ever rising prices, this story is of a family barely surviving.

It was so hard to get through this story, not because there was anything wrong with the writing or the story, but because it was so REAL. 

Thank you NetGally for the ARC and the chance to review this book.
Was this review helpful?
Dark and depressing, but well written and a quick read. Riveting! Loved the characters, the way the author makes us know all of them, their thoughts and emotions. I like that it was set over 2 days of Lynette's life, but we saw so much of what made her the way she was in flashbacks to previous things that happened to her. I will definitely recommend this book for purchase!
Was this review helpful?
. If you know you know (DM me.).
The Portrait of a Mirror
I have accidentally read a lot of Greek and Grecian-inspired books in the last few weeks. I love it when my reading picks up an accidental theme! Many thanks to @Netgalley and @publisherx for fueling my Grecian read-a-thon with The Portrait of a Mirror, a millenial retelling of the myth of Narcissus. .A. Natasha Joukovksy's debut novel centers on the entangled lives of two wealthy, glamorous, and highly-educated couples - Wes and Diana of New York and Vivien and Dale of Philadelphia. Diana's consulting job brings her in close contact with Dale while Vivien is named a visiting curator at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Very infidelity, much narcissism. How will these relationships evolve when everyone is acting an ass??.I want to give Joukovsky big props for delivering the layered nuevo-Greek novel I've been craving in this accidentally readathon. This story is peppered with witty, tongue-in-cheek references to ancient mythology. There is a payment company called Pegaswipe, for example, and Dale frequents a basement food court known as The Underworld. There are also the requisite references to Achilles heels and Trojan horses, plus a bunch of other stuff that probably went over my ignorant head. Is this book too smart for BookstaSam? Maybe..This is for sure one of those books where you are meant to dislike the characters, and dislike them I certainly do, though I appreciate the over-the-top self-awareness we see in Vivien in particular. My biggest criticism is that the passages about Diana and Dale's professional life were dense and kind of boring. .I don't think this book is for everyone, but if you are a Grecophile or have an interest in modern retellings, I think this one is right up your alley.
Fates and Furies
I don't like this book. That's my review. .Lotto and Mathilde get married on a whim just after college having only known each other a few days. Fates and Furies follows their relationship from its steamy nascense through the death of one partner. The first half of the book is told from Lotto's perspective; the second half from Mathilde's. Lotto aspires to be an actor, but his true talent lies in writing plays; Mathilde gives up her own career to support him. There's also some mama drama in that a) Lotto's mom never warms up to Mathilde and b) Lotto wants to be a parent but Mathilde does not..Every 50 pages or so the book changed directions, and I'm not really sure what the central theme is meant to be. I found Mathilde's story sad, traumatic, and inching up on anti-feminist. The book includes some excerpts from Lotto's plays. I wasn't that into the excerpts, but I did love that he wrote a modern retelling of Antigone called Go, mostly because it fits in well with my accidental spring Grecian readathon..Has anyone else read this one? I would love to discuss!

I went into this one blind and it was a mistake. Based on the spooky cover and title I thought "ooh! Horror!" or at least a thriller? The Night Will Always Come is neither of those things - it is a work of realistic literary fiction chronicling the life of a young woman grappling with mental illness and  intergenerational poverty in the Pacific Northwest, along with the petty and not-so-petty crime those themes beget.

Lynette lives with her mother and disabled brother in a rundown rental home in a rapidly gentrifying neighborhood. Their landlord offers to sell the property to the family at a deeply discounted rate, but after years of impulsive decision making under the thumb of an unnamed mental illness, Lynette must rely on her unreliable mother to secure the requisite loan. When her mother abruptly pulls out of the deal, Lynette embarks on a well-intentioned crime spree in an effort to get the money together in time.

This was a really traumatic read that ultimately didn't pay off for me. I applaud Willy Vlautin's handling of the subject matter. I really felt for Lynette throughout; even as she made more and more reckless decisions, her actions made sense to me. Through Lynette's eyes, we see that crime isn't always black and white, and the ways in which desperation and poverty can push one person to become entangled with the darker side of society.
Was this review helpful?
I found this book to be an interesting read, yet still couldn't quite hold on to finish it. The main character battles poverty, poor family relationships and really bad luck. I found this to be too depressing to continue (and read it during covid so this wasn't improving my mental health).
Was this review helpful?
Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC of this title. I could NOT stop reading this book. I was immediately hooked, and felt a ton of empathy for the main character. I loved the pace, it felt realistic but also surreal in some ways. Overall I was left with a deep sense of awareness that every person you meet has an entire story playing out that they are dealing with, and to treat everyone as if they're having a day like this.
Was this review helpful?
Thanks NetGalley for the ARC! This one just didn’t do it for me. There was WAY too much talking. A character would be having a one way conversation for a page and a half to 3 pages. It was kind of ridiculous. All of the characters were unlike-able, and there really wasn’t much of a plot in my opinion.
Was this review helpful?
Willy Vlautin's The Night Always Comes was not at all what I expected, but that's okay.  I expected more of a predictable thriller type of book, but what I got was a beautiful story about a young woman willing to do anything to care for her family.  It was depressing as heck, but so authentic.  I'm not sure the last character I felt as connected to or empathetic of as Lynette.  

I found the writing beautiful, and although it seemed more character-driven than plot, there was enough action to keep the book fresh and interesting.  I didn't get bored with descriptions or backstories.  It was short enough that it was a pretty quick read, but I think it will be one that sits with more for awhile.  

The slightly ambiguous ending was perfect for this story, and I know I'll be wondering where Lynette is and be hoping for her happiness for a long time.  Bravo.
Was this review helpful?
This was an extremely depressing book about a 30 year old woman whose life seems to keep getting worse and worse. Each chapter seemed to feature a terrible encounter with a questionable character. I wanted to scream and tell her "stay far far away from these people!". But it is also a story of desperation, and how sometimes you have no choice but to "do what you have to do". There was not much resilience or hope from the main character, so don't expect these book to invoke any uplifting feelings. On the plus side, it is a very quick read!
Was this review helpful?
Outstanding book!  I almost read it all in one sitting.  I was immediately drawn into this story.  By the time I reached the end, I was still wondering what would happen to all the characters.  I've already recommended this book to a few people!
Was this review helpful?
I received an ARC of this novel from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. 

Lynette works as a bartender with a secret second job while taking care of  her disabled brother.  Her parents aren't good parents, and both of them let Lynette and her brother down.   Her plans fall through, but she rises and makes new ones. Gritty and raw, but inspiring.
Was this review helpful?
A compulsively readable, unflinching look at the dark side of gentrification. Full review posted at BookBrowse: https://www.bookbrowse.com/mag/reviews/index.cfm/ref/pr272064
Was this review helpful?
So much can happen in such a short time – and most of it isn’t particularly good. The story covers a short period of time with wide ranging dramatic events from a robbery to an assault to new beginnings. And as events happen, we learn some of the rather sordid details of the main characters lives. This is not a happy book; the characters are all flawed and/or flailing. But there is some sense of hope as envisioned by Lynette. She doesn’t give up; she keeps plugging away in her desire to get ahead. It is a fast moving and engaging read. Thanks to NetGalley and Harper for providing me a complimentary copy of "The Night Always Comes" by Willy Vlautin in exchange for my honest review.
Was this review helpful?
ONE SENTENCE SUMMARY:  A gritty page turner about a young woman's efforts to achieve an American Dream - home ownership.

BRIEF REVIEW:  Lynette is a thirty year old woman who lives with her mother and developmentally challenged older brother.  Her goal has always been for them to own their own home and that opportunity has presented itself.  They have been living in a run-down rental home for years while Portland real estate prices have skyrocketed. Now is their chance, their landlord has offered them a deal on the house they now live in.  Lynette is excited as she's managed to save over $80,000 while working multiple jobs but, because of her bad credit she needs her mother's credit to seal the deal.  The week before they are to proceed her mother backs out and buys herself an expensive new car instead while Lynette drives an old beater that often fails to even start.

Devastated by what her mother has done, however,  she is used to being disappointed and has had more than her share of bad breaks.  She has made many bad decisions and loaned money that hasn't been repaid, now she's angry and determined to collect from all those who have taken advantage of her over the years. It's through this two day process that the reader learns about all that has happened to Lynette over the years.  The tension is fierce,  the encounters are nail-biting, the characters are flawed and story is riveting in every way.  I loved Lynette's character, so many people have let her down over the years and yes, she is deeply flawed but so determined, resilient, hard working and most of all her brother's biggest champion. This author knows how to write blue-collar lives and about the darker side of humans.  I was so disappointed in her lazy, selfish mother who never praised or encouraged her daughter. The ending was open to interpretation, but I sent Lynette positive vibes - hoping we hear about her again in another book. Highly recommended.  The audio was excellent as well, read by Christine Lakin.  Can you tell I loved this one?

https://bibliophilebythesea.blogspot.com/2021/04/2021-55-night-always-comes-willy-vlautin.html
Was this review helpful?