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The Night Always Comes

The Night Always Comes

A Novel

eBook - 2021
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"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?


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GummiGirl
May 04, 2021

A fast moving story with lots of references to contemporary Portland, and a point to make about folks being priced out.

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brangwinn
Apr 06, 2021

Desperation seeps through the words of Vlautin’s work. Like so many growing urban areas, Portland Oregon’s working class is being forced out by gentrification. I felt like in a Tennessee Williams story not set in the south. Lynette, is trying to attend community college, care for her disabled older brother and pay the rent on their falling down house. Her mother seems to have given up and Lynette finds herself caught in a position where she can make the down payment on their and makes some either stupid or courageous decisions on how to get the money. And as the title indicates, this is not a happy story. At the end, the reader is left to decide what will happen to Lynette. Do you see her glass as half empty or half full? I listened to the audiobook narrated by Christine Lakin and highly recommend it, but I suggestion you choose a time when you can dedicate to listening to the book. Once started, the mental picture created by the narration and the author’s descriptions will make it hard to put down.

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