Check It Out: The Night Always Comes by Willy Vlautin

Jul 12, 2021

This is Kelsey Patterson with the Sioux City Public Library and you’re listening to Check It Out. 

Today, I’m recommending The Night Always Comes by Willy Vlautin. Barely 30, 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 15 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 backs out on her promise, pushing Lynette to her limits to find the money they need. 

Set over two days and two nights, this book 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 benefitting 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.  

This book was a truly heart wrenching read. The fast-paced nature of the storyline and the gritty writing style helped Vlautin pack a devastatingly emotional and authentic punch in just 224 short pages. I think this book is perfect for fans of Nikolas Butler and Kent Haruf. All three authors are master storytellers who tackle ordinary life in such interesting and thought-provoking ways. 

Check out The Night Always Comes and other moving literary fiction like it at the Sioux City Public Library. 

Support for Check It Out on Siouxland Public Media comes from Avery Brothers.