The Alchemy of Noise

A Novel

Fiction - Literary
353 Pages
Reviewed on 06/05/2019
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Lorraine Devon Wilke’s writing resume includes years of screenwriting and songwriting, and over a decade as a political/cultural contributor to HuffPost and other media/news sites. Her work has been produced, globally disseminated, reprinted in books, articles, and academic tomes, and she continues to write essays and commentary at her blog, www.rockpapermusic.com and select media sites.

Her two previous novels, AFTER THE SUCKER PUNCH and HYSTERICAL LOVE, are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and select bookstores; her highly anticipated third novel, THE ALCHEMY OF NOISE, was published April, 2019 by She Writes Press.

In addition to her writing, Lorraine works frequently as a singer/songwriter and actress, while her "semi-professional" hobby of photography has seen her work exhibited on many a gallery wall. Links to all her work, writing awards, and other details of her creative background can be found at www.lorrainedevonwilke.com.

    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

The Alchemy of Noise is a work of literary dramatic fiction penned by author Lorraine Devon Wilke. Written for adults due to its complex themes and mild but mature content, this is a love story and family drama taking the day to day struggle of American life into context. Chris Hawkins and Sidonie Frame both work in Chicago and its surrounds, but their lives couldn’t be more different. When Chris is seconded to work at Sidonie’s elite club for the night, the sound engineer falls head over heels for the manager. But their relationship is fraught with the everyday drama of hidden racial class divides, Chris’s unwilling involvement with the Chicago police, and families who struggle to accept the coming together of two very different souls.

Author Lorraine Devon Wilke brings interracial relationships to the fore in this modern love story which shows us, sadly, that things haven’t progressed anywhere near as much we’d like to think they have. The writing is emotive and highly descriptive, painting snippets of life for Chris as he struggles with the everyday racism and assumptions put upon young black men all across America, and Sidonie’s struggle to connect and understand is intelligently handled. Neither of them is perfect, but together they find something special of their own. Wilke’s superb pacing and frank dialogue guide us through every harrowing moment as they fight hard to protect it. Overall, The Alchemy of Noise is a highly entertaining and engaging piece of drama which shines a light on pivotal issues of today.

Lorraine Devon Wilke

As suggested by Readers' Favorite, I'm sharing other reviews of The Alchemy of Noise in hope of inspiring new readers to pick up the book and enjoy the read. I hope you will!

And, again, thank you, K.C. Finn, for a really thoughtful review! I had to click the stars to post this comment, so consider those 5 stars for you! :)


WORKING MOTHER MAGAZINE:
“10 OF THE MOST ANTICIPATED BOOKS TO MAKE TIME FOR IN 2019: An impactful story about race, equality and love, The Alchemy of Noise has quickly become a highly-buzzed-about read in the vast community of female writers.”

PUBLISHERS WEEKLY:
“Wilke’s rewarding novel…will satisfy readers with its emotional depth and strong characters, making for a memorable novel.”

FOREWORD REVIEWS:
“Part awakening, part trial by fire, The Alchemy of Noise is a timely social novel that unfolds with tenderness and cruelty: A story on fresh beginnings marred by police brutality, The Alchemy of Noise tests the limits of love. Lorraine Devon Wilke’s sharp interracial romance strikes at the heart of contemporary race issues with thoughtful, vulnerable characters who excavate their own beliefs to reaffirm what’s worth fighting for… Between its heartfelt message for allies and its cautious navigation of what it’s like to be made a target, a profound optimism emerges. Love can’t solve everything for Sidonie and Chris, but it continually encircles them.”

KIRKUS REVIEWS:
“Wilke’s prose is cautious and empathetic, probing at the edges of politeness, taboo, and uncomfortable truth …the directness and openness with which the author explores the topic, as well as its continuing relevance, make this a novel that will still read as daring to many.”

BRIT+CO:
“In this devastating and touching new novel from Lorraine Devon Wilke, two unlikely lovers find themselves in the middle of a corrupt investigation that will change their lives forever. Chris is a black sound engineer and when his path crosses with Sidonie, a white and successful venue manager, the two quickly fall into a whirlwind love affair. But everything suddenly changes when Chris is arrested and charged with horrific crimes that will show the young couple just how wicked the world can be.”

BOOKED UP GIRL BLOG:
“I absolutely loved this book, and found myself engrossed in their story and journey. I felt a somewhat deep connection with Sid and Chris’ characters. The story is just heart wrenching – I really couldn’t put the book down, and it will stay haunting me for a long time to come. If you haven’t yet read this – it must be next on your TBR!”

BOOKAPOTAMUS:
“This book. Stop what you are doing. And read this book. It’s heartbreaking, it’s uncomfortable, and it’s daring in the most important way… This book haunts me – but it’s a good thing. I cannot stop thinking about it. I feel as if Sidonie and Chris are real people, and in a way, they are – as the gut-wrenching brutality, tension, and racism is entirely plausible in this day and age… I loved every minute of this story.”

“This is not a run-of-the-mill love story. But Lorraine Devon Wilke is not a run-of-the-mill writer. The Alchemy of Noise, a powerful interracial romance with rich, cinematic quality, is gritty, clever and superbly crafted, sustaining a gut-wrenching level of tension until the final page.” ~ Jane Davis, author of Smash All the Windows and seven other titles; winner of the Daily Mail First Novel Award.

“Every character was authentic. Sidonie and Chris have great depth; they’re real-life people, and I wanted them to overcome, for their love to prevail. The plot line was great as well. The microaggressions, the hidden and overt racism, the passive-aggressive low-key racism—it was all in there, all very plausible and realistic. The book is a sort of Racism 101, an eye-opener for allies.” ~ Regina McRae, BLM activist, award-winning baker/owner of NYC bakery, Grandma’s Secrets, and author of Taking the Cake, Your Ultimate Cake Guide

“Beautifully written, perfectly balanced, and evenly paced, The Alchemy of Noise, Devon Wilke’s story of love, redemption, and racial conflict in the shadow of contemporary urban America, is a tour-de-force from an author at the top of her game.” ~ Mark Barry, author of The Night Porter and Carla

“Infused with beauty, humor and pain, The Alchemy of Noise is a modern American love story that asks if love can bridge the distance between two Americas. Author Lorraine Devon Wilke writes with authenticity, insight, sensitivity. Her characters Sidonie and Chris (and the loved ones in their orbit) stayed with me like old friends whose success I am rooting for, but is in no way guaranteed in a world where skin color may be destiny.” ~ Laura Nicole Diamond, author of Shelter Us and Deliver Me