…the first book

AfterTheSuckerPunch_front_cover

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“Wilke writes with razor-sharp wit and radiant flair, and the prose’s high quality is the novel’s principal strength. She also sensitively portrays how real love and affection can survive and even flourish in an otherwise dysfunctional family.” ~ Kirkus Reviews

“A realistic and profound journey of realization and forgiveness… a solid novel that admirably explores the fragile, fraught relationship between parent and child.” ~ Publishers Weekly/BookLife



It’s an old adage that “a writer borrows from life to create fiction,” which, according to author Lorraine Devon Wilke, applies in spades to the evolution of her debut novel, AFTER THE SUCKER PUNCH:

“While not my or my family’s story in fact, parallels could certainly be drawn. My siblings and I always knew my father wrote journals, which many in the family read. Years after my father died, my oldest sister informed me that one contained a yearlong critique of my life as a young adult that wasn’t particularly complimentary. “

“Now, I was older than my protagonist when I read this journal; my life was much more stable and defined, and, frankly, I didn’t have the same relationship with my father—or the degree of yearning for his approval—that’s elemental to my protagonist’s psychology. But certainly I was hurt. And though I moved on pretty quickly in terms of my own feelings, it was when I talked about the situation with others that I learned the tremendous weight those plot points held for many. The idea of reading, internalizing, and then having to adjust to life-altering criticism from someone you loved, someone so pivotal to your sense of self; someone no longer around for questions and conversation, sparked deep and emotional responses from both men and women I talked to. It was then I knew I had a story.”


SYNOPSIS:

THEY BURIED HER FATHER AT NOON, at five she found his journals, and in the time it took to read one-and-a-half pages her world turned upside down… he thought she was a failure.

Every child, no matter what age, wants to know their father loves them, and Tessa Curzio – thirty-six, emerging writer, ex-rocker, lapsed Catholic, defected Scientologist, and fourth in a family of eight complicated people – is no exception. But just when she thought her twitchy life was finally coming together – solid relationship, creative job; a view of the ocean – the one-two punch of her father’s death and posthumous indictment proves an existential knockout.

She tries to “just let it go,” as her sister suggests, but life viewed through the filter of his damning words is suddenly skewed, shaking the foundation of everything from her solid relationship and winning job to the truth of her family, even her sense of self. From there, friendships strain, bad behavior ensues, new men entreat, and family drama spikes, all leading to her little-known aunt, a nun and counselor, who lovingly strong-arms Tessa onto a journey of discovery and reinvention. It’s a trip that’s not always pretty – or particularly wise – but somewhere in all the twists and turns, unexpected truths are found.

In her debut novel, author Lorraine Devon Wilke takes an irreverent look at father/daughter relationships through the unique prism of Tessa’s saga and its exploration of family, faith, cults, creativity, new love and old, and the struggle to define oneself against the inexplicable perceptions of a deceased parent. Told with both sass and sensibility, it’s a story wrapped in contemporary culture but with a very classic heart.


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ATSP reading


• 2015 IAN Book of the Year Award Finalist ~ Independent Author Network
• 2014 B.R.A.G Medallion Honoree ~ IndieBRAG

“Wilke writes with razor-sharp wit and radiant flair, and the prose’s high quality is the novel’s principal strength. She also sensitively portrays how real love and affection can survive and even flourish in an otherwise dysfunctional family.” ~ Kirkus Reviews

“A realistic and profound journey of realization and forgiveness… a solid novel that admirably explores the fragile, fraught relationship between parent and child.” ~ Publishers Weekly/BookLife

“A keenly executed character study. The novel is tightly structured and holds its complex elements with a sure and skillful grip. The dialogue pops…a thoroughly engaging and enjoyable read.” Junior Burke, author of Something Gorgeous (farfalla press/McMillan & Parrish)

“With bare-bone honesty and fiery dialogue, Wilke explores the loaded relationship between parents and their adult-children, examining the brave and lonely journey of self-discovery, reinvention, and healing… raw and brave–a great read.” Tracy Trivas, author of The Wish Stealers (Simon & Schuster)

“A sweeping, beautifully written read; gripping from page one. A family saga with ambition and class.” ~ Mark Barry, Green Wizard Publishing

“Captured the spirit of family perfectly in that there is no perfect family. Funny, warm, tense, angry, it ultimately shows us that life is to be lived and there’s no point in dwelling on the past.” ~ E.L. Lindley, LindleyReviews

Cover design by Grace Amandes
Cover photograph by Lorraine Devon Wilke

Additional Book Media & Reviews HERE.
Bookstores & libraries order@ Ingram.


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