LORRAINE DEVON WILKE’S THIRD NOVEL, THE ALCHEMY OF NOISE, ventures beyond the humor and pathos of family drama explored so cleverly in her first two novels to dig deep into the politics of contemporary culture. At its heart a love story, it explores the complexity of race and social injustice in a suspenseful drama driven by issues of privilege, prejudice, police profiling and legal entanglements, and the disparities in how those provocative themes impact the various and diverse characters involved.

In a world so full of lonely people and broken hearts, CHRIS HAWKINS, a black sound engineer from Chicago’s south side, and SIDONIE FRAME, white, suburban-raised, the head manager of one of the city’s most elite venues, meet by work-related happenstance and fall quickly in love, convinced that happiness is theirs for the taking. The world, however, has other ideas.

Their meeting was, in fact, serendipitous. Chris, who runs his own sound company, is surrounded largely by members of his own community; Sidonie, conversely, is rarely outside the environs of work and its predominantly white staff and clientele. But when the club’s sound manager goes AWOL on the night of a big event and Chris is hired as a last-minute replacement, destinies collide.

Attraction hits hard, and as they walk the tightrope in a relationship that triggers reaction amongst family and friends on both sides of the racial divide, the day-to-day tensions, police disruptions, and microaggressions of Chris’s life in the gritty environs of Chicago become a cultural flashpoint, challenging Sidonie’s privileged worldview and Chris’s ability to translate unfolding events. After a random series of police encounters shakes their resilience, it’s the shattering circumstance of a violent arrest, in which Chris is identified as a serial vandal and potential rapist, that sends their world into free fall.

He claims his innocence, she believes him, but as forces push against them, and unforeseen twists spark doubt and suspicion, Sidonie and Chris are left to question what they really know of each other and just who to trust, leading to a powerful and emotional conclusion.


“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.”

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

“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.”

“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.”


Author visits with Lorraine Devon Wilke are available via NovelNetwork.com.