After the Sucker Punch
It’s a trip that’s not always pretty – or particularly wise – but somewhere in the twists and turns, unexpected truths are found.
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 how old, 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.
Author and longtime Huffington Post contributor, Lorraine Devon Wilke, takes an irreverent look at father/daughter relationships through the prism of Tessa’s unique 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.
Reviews for the Book
"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
"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 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)
About Lorraine Devon Wilke (Author)
Author, photographer, singer/songwriter, Lorraine Devon Wilke, brings the sum total of her creative experience to her compelling contemporary fiction. Pulling from every chapter of her eclectic background, she creates characters and plots that are sharply original yet reflect universal themes, with dialogue that jumps off the page. Her first three book covers were designed with her photography, and her debut novel, AFTER THE SUCKER PUNCH, includes a free download of one of her songs.
A longtime contributor to HuffPost and other news and media sites, Devon Wilke’s trademark “sass and sensibility” infuses her work with candor, provocative themes, and, whenever possible, wit and humor. But whether exploring issues of family, faith, love, or tragedy, her stories always embrace an elemental mix of heart and soul. Along with AFTER THE SUCKER PUNCH, her dramatic short story, “She Tumbled Down,” and second novel, HYSTERICAL LOVE, are also available at Amazon. Her third novel, THE ALCHEMY OF NOISE, was published April 9, 2019, by She Writes Press, and is available here and in bookstores globally.
You can follow her commentary, cultural perspective, and updates on various creative adventures at www.RockPaperMusic.com,
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