Tuesday, May 25, 2021

The Night Always Comes by Willy Vlautin


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.

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