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. This book will be available April 6th, 2021.