Cover Image: The Night Always Comes

The Night Always Comes

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Member Reviews

The Night Always Comes. Where do I start. Okay, first, I need to say that I absolutely LOVED the relationship between Lynette and Kenny. Really, that was the crutch that kept me reading this book. A slow burn type of book perfect for a slow reader (someone who really takes in the book in its entirety). The layout, outline, and delivery was perfect, however, the plot needed more in my opinion. I found myself wanting more, needing more. Which made the slow burn of the book somewhat annoying for a fast reader like I.

Vlautin was able to really make me root for Lynette all for it to come crashing down pages later. I will say, too much of a slow burn for me (specially in the beginning), however, I understand why there was the slow burn now. However, I think Vlautin could have gotten to where he needed to be plot/climax wise without the fluff in the beginning (specifically, an entire chapter on why her mom should not have bought a car). The arguing between Lynette and her mom, although believable, was fluff within the book that needed to be there. However, some readers enjoy that. I do not.

Overall, the writing was beautiful. The layout was great and I liked having this palette cleanser as an in-between read of my horror books. I would recommend this book to friends  but really, only a certain few. Again, the slow burn writing isnt for everyone.
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Special thank you to Willy Vlautin and NetGalley for providing a digital copy in exchange for an honest review.

Lynette seems stuck in a rut: working two jobs, taking classes at the community college, and looking after her special needs brother, Kenny. The Night Always Comes is a story about struggling with past demons, working intensely to overcome them, and anticipating a fruitful future. 

Vlautin’s writing drew me in from the first chapter. The structure of this book is one of the best I have come across. In anticipation of starting a better life, Lynette pays visits to many individuals who owe her. These visits bring up tales of her past, a look into the experiences that shaped Lynette today.

Amazing read, one of the best fiction books I have read in a while. Vlautin hit the nail on the head with this, and I have nothing but positive feelings for this book. It took two sittings to read because I could not stop thinking about the characters and where the story would take them. To me, a book that leaves you wondering about the characters throughout the day is a 5 star book.
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Willy's writing was absolutely excellent as usual, and he did a remarkable job of capturing and depicting such a distinct world. Unfortunately, while I would recommend folks read, I will warn that it is incredibly dark and grim -which may not be the best escapism book we are all looking for in 2020.
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This story about Lynette and her struggles really moved me. It takes place over a very short time period, but you can feel Lynette's physical and emotional fatigue as life has beaten her down time and time again. It's hard to question the choices she makes when you understand her struggles. Powerful and empathetic.
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This is a story about Lynette, a women who desperately wants better for her family. Her family has a hard life since day one with Lynette working multiple jobs to care for them. However, the mother just seems to be against Lynette. 

MY heart ached for the characters and I wanted nothing more than to hug them all. The cover of the book is perfect for this book.

Thanks to Netgalley for my advanced ebook copy.
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A dark tale, with more desperation than hope. I didn’t care for the writing style or the characters. A younger person might enjoy it more.
Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for an ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.
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This is a story of determination and inner strength. Lynette was an underdog and had every life complication hurled at her. In order to overcome obstacles and achieve her singular focus of purchasing her family’s home, she knowingly took on even more hardships and compromised her morals. We meet Lynette towards the end of her three-year endeavor to save a house down payment and live through a wild night as she gathers several thousand more dollars that rightfully belong to her. Her ending is not exactly what she envisioned, however we witness her unflappable belief that she will achieve homeownership no matter what!
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Wiley Vlautin's newest novel, coming on the heels of 2018's DON'T SKIP OUT ON ME (finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award), also focuses on a character who wants more from life. And like his previous novel -- the only one of his five others that I've read -- Vlautin provides a study place, this time moving from the desert southwest to the Pacific Northwest, and Portland specifically. 

The Portland of Lynette, her mother, disabled brother, and others in the story is a place that has left them behind. New luxury apartments are going up and old restaurants are being replaced by upscale bistros. The lucky few who bought homes in the previous decade are now secure in investments worth five to ten times the purchase price. That, of course, does not include Lynette and her mother, who struggle to make ends meet, with multiple jobs, and have rented the same dilapidated house for years. Despite the state of disrepair, Lynette wants to buy it, and the owner is offering a good deal. Lynette is willing to do more than many people to make it happen.

As other reviewers have noted, this is a dark read. The plot took me by surprise, leading down paths that I didn't expect. This is not a beautiful story, but it's raw and, for the most part, real. Upon reflection, I do have some questions like, "Would someone really behave like Lynette?" But those questions are only hitting me in retrospect. As I read, I was all in. This is certainly in contrast to other novels where my suspension of disbelief had been interrupted in the moment. I commend Vlautin for creating a situation where this didn't happen.

I love stories that take place in a compressed timeline -- as the copy indicates, the time frame here is two days and nights -- with a small cast of characters. Give me a novel, like this, over a sweeping, multi-character epic any day. In this case, there are still enough references to the past to give context to the current action. In fact, the “flashbacks” are even more beautifully rendered than the main action of the book. 

Like another reviewer, I was also a bit put off by the amount of dialogue. I felt that, in some cases, Vlautin could have made use of “indirect dialogue” rather than spoken dialogue. It’s definitely a small quibble, but I had the feeling throughout the short book.

I would not necessarily say that this novel is for fans of DON’T SKIP OUT ON ME, which was atmospherically quite different. There is some metadata that classifies this as “crime fiction.” That is probably both accurate, in terms of the plot, and too simplistic, in terms of the underlying commentary that Vlautin is making on economic changes in Portland, which is certainly a stand-in for other areas. I haven’t read enough similar books to come up with a good comp. Only because it deals with a crime and house as a central plot point, THE HOUSE OF SAND AND FOG from many years ago comes to mind, but that is a bit of a stretch. 

I first read DON’T SKIP OUT ON ME because it was mentioned by a few people on a message board as one of their top books of 2018. Some thought it was Pulitzer worthy. As mentioned above, Vlautin was a PEN/Faulkner finalist for the book. I don’t think that this one is of the same quality, but it’s still an engaging and worthwhile read.
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The story of Lynette is somewhat of a dark book about her messed up life trying to improve herself. Sometimes the writing switched thoughts quickly and was hard to keep up with the story line.
It was not a bad book, just not my style, but thanks for the ARC.
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Thank you Netgalley for this ARC of The Night Always Comes by Willy Vlautin.

I don't know if the author meant for this to be an atmospheric read, but if it is, the atmosphere would be dark, cold, rainy, with the smell of desperation always in the air.

This is a story about Lynette, a woman in her early thirties who deeply wants better for her family.  Her, her mother, and her handicapped brother have been living hard since day one.  Lynette has been working multiple jobs, as well as less savory work in order to finally have the money to own the home they live in.  But her mom seems to be resisting the closer Lynette gets to finally meeting her goal.  But her mother underestimates just how far Lynette is willing to go to get the money she needs to secure a better future for her family.

First off, this is not an easy read.  I could practically feel physically the toll that this hard life took on it's characters.  I could feel the constant cold and damp, and the need to scream and cry when despite all of your efforts, you just can't read the finish line.  For that reason, I'm glad it wasn't necessarily a long novel, my heart!

There was a lot of dialogue in the books, like a lot.  All the characters monologue at least once, and it does get redundant.  That's probably my only real complaint about the style.  Sometimes less is more, especially when it comes to creating tension.

I was grateful for a light cocoa powder sprinkle of hope at the end, because hot dang.  But it gave me a lot of chew on when it comes to issues of poverty, privilege, crime, and desperation.  I saw real issues that we have in this country come to life in a way that is glaring and uncomfortable.  But conversations like this aren't comfortable, especially if change is the goal.
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