The night always comes : a novel

by Vlautin, Willy,

Format: Print Book 2021
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Summary

"Willy Vlautin is not known for happy endings, but there's something here that defies the downward pull. In the end, Lynette is pure life force: fierce and canny and blazing through a city that no longer has space for her, and it's all Portland's loss." -- Portland Monthly Magazine

Award-winning author Willy Vlautin explores the impact of trickle-down greed and opportunism of gentrification on ordinary lives in this scorching novel that captures the plight of a young woman pushed to the edge as she fights to secure a stable future for herself and her family.



Barely thirty, Lynette is exhausted. Saddled with bad credit and juggling multiple jobs, some illegally, she's been diligently working to buy the house she lives in with her mother and developmentally disabled brother Kenny. Portland's housing prices have nearly quadrupled in fifteen years, and the owner is giving them a good deal. Lynette knows it's their last best chance to own their own home--and obtain the security they've never had. While she has enough for the down payment, she needs her mother to cover the rest of the asking price. But a week before they're set to sign the loan papers, her mother gets cold feet and reneges on her promise, pushing Lynette to her limits to find the money they need.

Set over two days and two nights, The Night Always Comes follows Lynette's frantic search--an odyssey of hope and anguish that will bring her face to face with greedy rich men and ambitious hustlers, those benefiting and those left behind by a city in the throes of a transformative boom. As her desperation builds and her pleas for help go unanswered, Lynette makes a dangerous choice that sets her on a precarious, frenzied spiral. In trying to save her family's future, she is plunged into the darkness of her past, and forced to confront the reality of her life.

A heart wrenching portrait of a woman hungry for security and a home in a rapidly changing city, The Night Always Comes raises the difficult questions we are often too afraid to ask ourselves: What is the price of gentrification, and how far are we really prepared to go to achieve the American Dream? Is the American dream even attainable for those living at the edges? Or for too many of us, is it only a hollow promise?

Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "Vlautin's emotionally wrenching tales of the working-class poor typically feature characters trapped in a deadly undertow of economic hardship, compounded by wrong choices made for the right reasons. So it is this time, as Vlautin moves from the country-noir landscape of Don't Skip Out on Me (2018) to the overlooked underclass in gentrifying, superhip Portland, Oregon. Thirty-year-old waitress Lynette has made plenty of wrong choices (drugs, alcohol, and men, among them), but she has remained focused on saving enough money (however ill-gotten) to buy the house where she lives with her mother and developmentally challenged brother. She's close to being there when her mother uses part of the money to buy a car, leaving the kitty short with the owner's deadline approaching. Desperate to make up the difference, Lynette embarks on a two-day rampage into the heart of darkness, culminating with an outlandish scheme to steal a safe. Vlautin never lets us forget that hovering over Lynette's Hail Mary pass at salvation is the spectre of gentrification: "The whole city is starting to haunt me . . . all the new places, the big new buildings, just remind me that I'm nothing, that I'm nobody." Her friend, Shirley, begs to differ: "You never give up and you've got a good heart, a damaged heart, but a good heart." We concur, of course, and race to the end to see if good hearts can maybe, just this once, make a difference. With Vlautin, you never know for sure."
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Taking a cue from classic noir, Vlautin (Don't Skip Out on Me) offers a stunning, heartbreaking study of one woman's struggle against fate and circumstance in an America that's left her behind. The housing boom in Portland, Ore., has priced many working-class families out, but 30-year-old Lynette's landlord offers her a good deal on the decrepit house she and her mother have been renting for years. Lynette works two jobs while caring for her developmentally disabled brother, Kenny, who also lives with them, and she has finally saved up enough for a down payment. All she needs is her mother to cosign on the loan. At the last minute her mother, exhausted by her own life of struggle and disappointment, backs out of the deal. Desperate, Lynette makes a last-ditch effort to buy the house herself. Along the way, a plot to steal a safe from a friend who owes Lynette money takes her into her dark past of mental illness, sexual abuse, and prostitution, and up against men who prey upon vulnerable women. This gritty page-turner sings with pitch-perfect prose, and Lynette's desperation is palpable. Vlautin has achieved a brilliant synthesis of Raymond Carver and Jim Thompson. Agent: Lesley Thorne, Aitken Alexander Assoc. (Apr.)"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects House buying -- Fiction.
Gentrification -- Fiction.
Mothers and daughters -- Fiction.
Working poor -- Fiction.
Portland (Or.) -- Fiction.
Thrillers (Fiction)
Publisher New York, NY :2021
Edition First edition.
Language English
Description 208 pages ; 22 cm
ISBN 9780063035089
0063035081
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