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Book Review: The Alchemy of Noise by Lorraine Devon Wilke

This book flashed up as a recommended read on Amazon – I am so pleased I took a chance on it, it was just so damn good!

The Alchemy of Noise by Lorraine Devon Wilke

Genre: Fiction/Romance

BUG Rating: 4.5/5

Overall: I think I only half read the synopsis a lot of the time – I thought this was going to be an ‘ordinary’ love story, but it was way, way more than that – Sidonie is a white woman and Chris a black man. They fell totally in love, almost instantly, but is that enough? Are their worlds too far apart? 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!

Just love me … just keep loving me.

Plot:

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 by that act alone they can inspire peace, joy, and happiness in the world around them. The world, however, has other ideas.

Their meeting is serendipitous. Chris, who owns and runs his company, largely spends his time surrounded 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 to come in as a last-minute replacement, their destinies collide.

Immediately drawn to each other, they fall quickly into an unexpected and thrilling relationship, inspiring myriad reactions amongst family and friends on both sides of the racial divide. But even as their love story evolves, day-to-day tensions, police disruptions, and the microaggressions Chris constantly encounters as a black man in the gritty environs of Chicago become a cultural flashpoint, challenging Sidonie’s privileged worldview and Chris’s ability to translate the unfolding events. After a random and gut-wrenching series of police encounters shakes their resilience, it’s the shattering circumstance of a violent arrest—one 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 the forces pushing against them are many and oppressive. With a looming trial, the dissipating loyalties of key allies, and unforeseen twists triggering doubt and suspicion, Sidonie and Chris are driven to question what they really know of each other and just whom to trust, leading to a powerful and emotional conclusion.


Pros:

+ Thought-provoking love story 

+ Emotional, intimate ‘experience’ of racial profiling, racism and police brutality

+ Powerful writing

Cons:

– None


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