Cover Image: The Night Always Comes

The Night Always Comes

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

The narrator was amazing! She gave such life to Lynette’s desperation to make a better life for herself, her brother, and her mother and what she was willing to do to achieve it.
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?
*received for free from netgalley for honest review* Pretty weird, the story didnt really go anywhere? and it ended imo quickly.
Was this review helpful?
Lynette doesn't have an easy life.  She lives in Portland, Oregon with her mother and mentally challenged brother Kenny.  They have rented a house for many years but their landlord has informed them that he is ready to sell the house and given them first refusal.  In her late twenties, Lynette knows this may be their only chance to own a home as prices have raised exponentially.  She has worked several jobs, some shady and some just exhausting to save enough for a down payment.  The plan has always been for her mother to sign for the mortgage loan as Lynette doesn't have the credit rating necessary.  But now, here at the last moment, her mother is changing the plan.  She doesn't want to load herself down with debt although it will cost the family more to rent a place than buy this house.

Desperate to hold onto her dream, Lynette frantically tries to make up the money her mother would have provided.  In doing so, she revisits old haunts that had almost destroyed her emotionally, burns friendships and does dangerous deeds.   The whole time her dream of providing a home for Kenny and the family is paramount in her mind.  Can she reach her goal?

I listened to this novel and the narrator was Christine Lakin.  She did a wonderful job portraying Lynette, her exhaustion and her desire to live a normal life as a family.  Her voice portrayed the inevitability of the trouble Lynette finds herself in and the way life has beat her down.

Willy Vlautin is a writer's writer.  He is admired by those in the know in literary circles and his novels tell the stories of average people beset by disasters caused by circumstances beyond their control.  In this novel, the circumstance is the gentrification of the cities which push out those of average to low means who may not be able to finance a house and who end up having to pay more to rent.  He writes nonjudgmentally about Lynette and the choices she is forced to make.  This book is recommended for literary fiction readers.
Was this review helpful?
God, this was depressing. The mother is one of the most despicable characters I've encountered in a while. Obviously, we want things to turn around for poor Lynette but she is flawed as well. I've never read Vlautin before and will certainly give his other titles a try as I like his writing style and have heard good things about his other books. This one was just so bleak. I need to read something light and fun next.
Was this review helpful?
I was able to listen to an audiobook edition of Willy Vlautin’s The Night Always Comes, narrated by Christine Lakin, thanks to NetGalley and HarperCollins Audio. As the title alludes, this is a dark story which follows a young woman’s quest to secure a home for her family. Lynette is in her 30s and is doing her best to finalize the purchase of her childhood home, which she shares with her mother and her developmentally disabled brother, Kenny. She works two jobs and juggles caring for Kenny. When she finds out her mother is having second thoughts about buying the house together, she embarks upon a journey which revisits her shadowed past and while she attempts to collect upon the debts owed to her.


This was a haunting story of mental illness and the current gentrification of America’s cities. The novel outlines the struggles of a woman who tries to do what is right and what is best with the hand that she’s been dealt. It’s an amazing juxtaposition of the paths available to us via the choices that we make. The narrator, Christine Lakin, really embodies the different characters within her narration. She gives Lynette both a vulnerability and a strength. The voices of other characters are layered with complexity. The city of Portland and it’s surrounding suburbs are also integral characters in the story. The scenery and descriptions were detailed and mapped out Lynette’s life journey to date. It’s not my normal warm and fuzzy, cozy read but I would recommend this novel.
Was this review helpful?
Night Always Comes by Willy Vlautin is an experience in sadness. I usually love a good sad book. They are one of my favorite types. Then the person finds something to make them happy. And life throws some things at them to mess it up but in the end all is good. I know that isn't real life and I know that isn't all books. But, I do enjoy those. Night Always Comes, however, does not make it into that category. Or, truly, anywhere close. It is a sad story about a sad girl who is trying to fix her sad life with her sad mom and nothing she does seems to work. It centers on Lynette, a thirty year old who has been hustling and working hard to save enough money on a down payment for the house she, her mother, and her mentally disabled brother live in. When the times comes to actually sign on the dotted line for the house though, her mom backs out, saying she doesn't want to saddle herself with a mortgage. With prices rising all over the city and everything getting harder to afford, Lynette doesn't understand. She determines to find a way to get more money to convince her mom to help her. What results is a crazy night with a lot of near death experiences and still not enough money. I won't ruin the end for you, but I actually did like the ending. I was so sure that I had just listened to five hours of a book to hate the ending, but it was a good one. It was just everything that had to happen before then that was a little hard to handle. There was a lot of monologuing by characters. And a lot of it was the same things. And some of it seemed a little fantastical to me. But, the main idea was there: people are struggling everywhere to make ends meet in a world that is growing more expensive and harder to live in. I enjoyed parts of the book. Other parts were hard for me. The narrator did a great job. Not sure what to rate it. I never like to rate books low, but this one really is middle of the line for me, so three stars I think. Thanks #NetGalley for the chance to listen to this audiobook. All opinions are my own. #Bookstagram #all_the_pages
Was this review helpful?
The Night Always Comes is a tale told over the course of a single night. Lynette lives with her mother and special needs brother. She works tirelessly to care for her mother and brother and to make enough money to keep their home. When her mother suddenly decides she doesn’t want her name on the loan to keep their house. Sending Lynette on a one night frenzy to get the money to buy the home outright. 

Read this book with tissues nearby. Lynette isn’t a totally pitiable character, but we get a deep look into the challenging life she has lived. Vlautin gives the reader an intimate look at what it looks like to live with clinical depression and to be overwhelmed by the rest of your life; the different forms self-harm can take and the long term effects of living this way.
Was this review helpful?
This novel follows thirty-year-old Lynette who lives with her mother and developmentally challenged brother in Portland, Oregon. Despite being a working-class family in the midst of economic hardship and a difficult market, Lynnette has worked incredibly hard to save up enough money to put a down payment towards owning the run-down rental they've lived in for years. But, when her mom makes an unexpected decision that derails all of their plans, Lynnette is forced to explore options that result in her facing dangerous characters, making desperate decisions, and constantly facing the past mistakes she's so desperately trying to leave behind. As the reader, we're along for the wild ride that this precarious and chaotic spiral of events creates, all the while learning more about Lynnette's past as conversations between characters bring the reader up to speed on all that Lynnette and her family have been through. Will Lynnette be able to rise above all of this and finally attain stability for her and her family? Or, will the sad blend of circumstance, fate, hardship, and past mistakes drag her down? 

I'd say this novel is medium-fast paced with very realistic characters (most definitely flawed) and an exploration of the struggles that one may face in pursuit of financial stability within a city being transformed by a widening gap between social classes. I felt that the book flowed well with a good balance of action and dialogue; as Lynnette encounters a variety of shady characters (both strangers and past relationships), we learn more about the past that she has been working to pull herself out of. I enjoyed picking up on Lynnette's backstory throughout the novel and felt that this provided me with the opportunity to see the big picture of Lynnette's character while the other characters in the book could only see her through the lens created by her past mistakes. I enjoyed this novel and look forward to reading Willy Vlautin's other books!
Was this review helpful?
This is my first Willy Vlantin book and now I find myself compelled to go and read others. His characters and subject matter speaks to the heart and are cutting me to the bone as we speak of things like gentrification and lives in dangerous (and illegal) situations.

It reads quickly, yet not too quickly. The language speaks to you like normal conversation but yet not-you have to devour the language and the honesty in the situations presented to give you a complete picture.
Was this review helpful?
I had never heard of this author til i got this audio from NetGalley, for an honest review. I may have to check out his other novels. I like this book, the main character is so relatable. I like that she takes care of her brother. Lynette has such a hard life, that's what makes her so likable. This book makes me think of all the crap i did when i was a teen.
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?
DNF: 51%
I was really interested in this book based on the description. But this is definitely the type of book that could benefit from some Content Warnings. As this book talks about drug use, suicide attempts, molestation, to just brush the surface.

I initially wanted to stop reading around chapter 6, as Lynette's conversation with her own mother and how her mother throws Lynette's mental health problems back at her. But also the whole conversation was just too similar to the kinds of arguments I've personally experienced.

But after that I couldn't really get into this book.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you for the advanced copy of this book! I will be posting my review on social media, to include Instagram, Amazon, Goodreads, and Storygraph!
Was this review helpful?
And what a night it is!  This was one of those books about the longest night ever when every thing continues to go horribly wrong.  There really are no characters to really get behind here.  I want to feel for Lynette.  She is overcoming a lot.  Mental illness, her mother and brother she has to take care of.  A bad credit history.  Apparently so bad that even when you have almost 1/3 down, you can’t get a mortgage.  If onlyn banks really cared that much about bad credit we wouldn’t have had a housing melt down.  I digress.  Lynette does a lot in order to buy the house they live in.  She is desperate and running out of time.  She isn’t new to doing desperate and illegal things for money.  

The entire thing is a depressing look at gentrification and the societal norms that punish the poor to keep them poor.  Lynette has made some terrible choices to get where she wants and she is still not there.  She is taken advantage of by a long line of truly horrible people.  And she takes advantage herself.  All in the normal currency of her life.  I generally listen to books while working out and this one was not realxing or engaging enough to keep me going.  I just wanted it to be over.  For everyone.
Was this review helpful?
Wow. This book was dark and difficult to read, but so, so important - one that captures the struggle of so many everyday Americans who fight to just eke out a living. Lynnette, our protagonist, is an almost thirty-year-old woman who has been working until she is beat-down exhausted for three years - because in a life where she'd had so many bad breaks, so many horrible things happen to her, her family finally has an opportunity. 

She lives with her mom, an obese woman who works at a Fred Meyer, and her older brother, who has a mental disability. After years of paying rent on a falling-apart house outside of Portland, their landlord is giving them a good deal to buy it. Lynnette has dreams of finally owning something, renovating it and making something out of it, and selling it to all of the hungry real estate developers who want to buy things in the area for a profit. Then, finally, her family will not have to struggle as they do constantly. 

But as soon as Lynnette is on the verge of making it happen - contingent upon her mom getting a loan for $200k, her mom backs out. She says that Lynnette has been nothing but trouble for her - when she was younger, she had severe depression and anger issues, constantly lashing out at her mom in hurtful and violent ways, running away, and even trying to take her own life. Lynnette's mom is exhausted. And after sacrificing so much for her children, she doesn't want to be shackled to a loan and this awful house with so many bad memories for the rest of her life. Lynnette tries to tell her that she's been in therapy for years, she hasn't had an outburst in so long and prides herself on that, and that this is their first real chance to have something for themselves. But her mom doesn't budge. The book takes place over two nights and two days, following Lynnette trying to scrape together as much money as she can to convince her mom to go through with buying the house. 

Lynnette is such a strong character - she's understated, smart, tenacious, and responsible. She knows that she's messed up a lot of things in her life - she takes full responsibility for everything, even though a lot of it has been out of her control. Throughout the book, you see her get beaten down time and time again, but get back up, dust herself off, and keep going. Part of it is that she doesn't have a choice - if she gives up, what will her brother do? What will her mom do? But part of it is that she's learned she needs to fight for herself. She's finally gotten herself on a good track, and it would be so easy to lose it all. 

The only criticism - a minor one - that I have about this book is that, when you learn Lynnette's backstory, it's through a lot of telling, not showing. Some of the characters will go on long rants that explain huge chunks of Lynnette's life, yes, through their own lens, but in a narrative format. I can't really fault the author for doing this, as the book is quite short, and he needed to pack in as much story as possible into a few pages. 

As hard as this was to listen to, Lynnette's and her family's struggles are emblematic of how hard it is for every day working people in the US right now - keeping your head down and working a job will not pay off in the end, as the American Dream story tries to tell you. Lynnette's mom argues that it's better to be on the street, where you can get free healthcare and live by your own rules, rather than being a slave to a minimum wage job, working your ass off, having to pay for everything on your own, and still struggling to get by on a day to day basis. 

Thank you to the publisher for an ARC of the audiobook via Netgalley.
Was this review helpful?
25 years ago, Barb and I flew up to Portland and stayed at the Douglas Fir, possibly America’s first hipster café/motel/performance space. On happenstance, we saw the band Richmond Fontaine and wondered why they weren’t as big as The Jayhawks or Wilco. Willy Vlautin’s unironic songs could be the soundtrack to Nomadland. He started writing novels—some based on the characters in his songs—in the next decade, and why he hasn’t become this century’s John Steinbeck is an added mystery.

While subtly critiquing gentrification and greed, his new book The Night Always Comes, out April 6, follows the 30-year-old, unlucky beauty Lynette, surviving in Portland on two low-paying jobs—well, a third pays well—, dealing with her bitter, alcoholic mother, and caring for her 32-year old special needs brother. She has grit, but that’ll only take you so far. It’s a heart-breaking, important story that should catapult Vlautin to fame. But it won’t. Grit will only take you so far. But I believe talent and goodness wins in the end. #netgalley #netgalleyreads #netgalleyreview #harperaudio


from my Instagram account linked below.
Was this review helpful?
This audio book was different than many that I have read.  It really made me feel like I wanted to stop the main character from doing things that she knew she shouldn't do. Every time I thought the main character, Lynette had pushed her luck too far she did something else. The story grabbed me and made me want to know how it ended. I found the characters to be real and their situation similar to people I have heard about. The book is compelling and makes you want to help people that have issues with drugs and finding a decent job. I really liked Lynette although she was very flawed and so human. She tries her best to get her life back on track but has so many obstacles many others would have given up but not her.  Her humanity shines through when she is helping her disabled brother and you can see how hard she is trying to change their lives for the better.

The narrator for this book was great. Her voice fit the character perfectly and it made me want to keep listening.  It is important to like the voice and be able to picture the character from both the voice and the description.  This voice seemed to be made for this person--her reactions, her temperament fit so well with the voice. It was a good match.  I really liked the book and recommend it.
The only negative comment is that the ending is so abrupt.  There is not anything on the file after the end and I waited to make sure it was over so there was a lot of dead air.  I am hoping their will be a second book and that it is more uplifting with the characters success in finding a better life.  I would read that.
Was this review helpful?
I received an advanced copy of this audiobook from the publisher through netgalley in exchange for an honest review. It is well written and the characters are described well. The narrator did a good job reading this book. This audiobook will be in stores on April 6th for $20.99 (USD). This has mental health representation. TRIGGER WARNING Drug Abuse. This book is about a 3 star book to me. I would recommend it though.
Was this review helpful?
Lynette is trying her best to keep her head above water, not easy when she's got such a checkered past. But in trying to purchase the rental she occupies with her mother and developmentally challenged brother, she's taken to scraping every penny in whatever means she can only to find out her mother has other plans. Lynette then experiences an almost unbelievable Walpurgisnacht of events (are there really so many hours in the day) during which she'll spend a lot of time remembering things she'd thought she'd put behind her. That is the basic outline of this book by Willy Vlautin who has a distinct talent for writing about those on the fringes, and in the process, shows the effects of gentrification on a city like Portland, Oregon, on those who may find themselves losing their way of life. Well written if a little fantastic, but then, I believe Vlautin was making a point in which he succeeded.
Was this review helpful?