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The Raising: A Novel

Average Rating 3.5
( 28 )
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

super academia suspense

One year has passed since the fatal accident left Nicole Werner dead. Her boyfriend New Hampshire native Craig Clements-Rabbitt was driving and has not moved on as everything at Godwin Honors Hall reminds him of Nicole. Although his parents and his roommate Perry Edwa...
One year has passed since the fatal accident left Nicole Werner dead. Her boyfriend New Hampshire native Craig Clements-Rabbitt was driving and has not moved on as everything at Godwin Honors Hall reminds him of Nicole. Although his parents and his roommate Perry Edwards try to help him with his grief, the latter also has his own issues having known the late Nicole all his life and being the one who introduced her to Craig.

Meanwhile, the witness of the car accident Shelly Lockes is forced to leave the Midwestern town after insisting the victim was not dead contrary to media reports of a bloody corpse; while Sociology Professor Mira Polson receives immense pressure involving her family to resign after finding anomalies with the official report of the deadly incident. Nicole's sorority sisters at Omega Theta Tau remain angry and adamant that her killer and his defenders pay the price. Soon after Craig's return to campus, apparent suicides and accidental shootings become the curriculum.

The Raising is a super academia suspense saga that grips the audience from the moment Craig's dad takes him back to school. The story line is character driven by several players including those above, the sisterhood, and obsessed Ted Dientz. Although the actions of the Omega Theta Tau sisters are over the top of the Gateway Arch, readers will enjoy Laura Kasischke's twisting taut thriller.

Harriet Klausner

posted by harstan on January 11, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

Great book...until...

I really liked this book UNTIL the end of chapter 102 and then I just felt as if the story went down hill. I don't mind some loose ends in a book but I really felt that after 500 pages the ending here REALLY left something to desired!

posted by Anonymous on September 14, 2013

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  • Posted January 11, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    super academia suspense

    One year has passed since the fatal accident left Nicole Werner dead. Her boyfriend New Hampshire native Craig Clements-Rabbitt was driving and has not moved on as everything at Godwin Honors Hall reminds him of Nicole. Although his parents and his roommate Perry Edwards try to help him with his grief, the latter also has his own issues having known the late Nicole all his life and being the one who introduced her to Craig.

    Meanwhile, the witness of the car accident Shelly Lockes is forced to leave the Midwestern town after insisting the victim was not dead contrary to media reports of a bloody corpse; while Sociology Professor Mira Polson receives immense pressure involving her family to resign after finding anomalies with the official report of the deadly incident. Nicole's sorority sisters at Omega Theta Tau remain angry and adamant that her killer and his defenders pay the price. Soon after Craig's return to campus, apparent suicides and accidental shootings become the curriculum.

    The Raising is a super academia suspense saga that grips the audience from the moment Craig's dad takes him back to school. The story line is character driven by several players including those above, the sisterhood, and obsessed Ted Dientz. Although the actions of the Omega Theta Tau sisters are over the top of the Gateway Arch, readers will enjoy Laura Kasischke's twisting taut thriller.

    Harriet Klausner

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 15, 2011

    Gripping Psychological Thriller

    This book had me from the first page, really the first paragraph. I was entranced from the beginning and could not put it down. I spent many way too late nights staying up to read it and long after I put the book down I would be thinking about the characters in the book. Ms. Kasischke draws complex three-dimensional characters beautifully well for her readers. The story progresses slowly in the beginning, slowly in terms of the action, but I do not mean that the story was boring. Far from that - it was very interesting, it was intriguing. However, before the true action begins Ms. Kasischke shows the readers who the characters are and how they react in various situations. We learn about their family lives, we seem them with their friends, in past relationships and we begin to truly know the characters. The scenes in the beginning of the book, really flesh out the emotions and complexity of each character. Thus, when the characters are in highly stressful scenarios later on in the book, their reactions seem honest to who they are. The story is told from four different points of view. Ms. Kasischke does this very effectively (many authors can't carry off the varying points of view, however she does), she spends quite a bit of time introducing us to each character, so that each character has a strongly distinct "voice". Two of the characters are female professors and the other two are male students. Each character is in a very different place in their life, but I found myself identifying with each of these characters and caring about them.

    I do not want to spoil this book for anyone, but I will say this book is a psychological thriller. As the reader is pulled in to the characters' lives, the reader also becomes very emotionally invested in what is happening. I began to feel afraid of what was around every corner in this book, I felt that something was out there but I had no idea what. It was a thrilling read. The setting of this book is so tangible I feel like I had been there (and maybe I have!), it is a Midwest college campus and Ms. Kasischke got the feel of it right. She accurately draws college life for students -- from their sex lives, to their relationships with each other, the pressure of studying and the pressure in a large Midwest university of the Greek system. She does the same for the professors - the political pressure inside the university, the stress of the need to publish, and add in the pull of personal and familial ties and responsibilities. Did I mention the bad "guys" yet? Ohhhhhh, the baddies in this book are truly bad - and scary.

    I highly recommend this book to be read by anyone who enjoys a good psychological thriller (maybe some comparisons can be made to such authors as Donna Tart, Tana French, Sarah Waters). I plan to seek out Ms. Kasischke's other books and read them. I am so glad I read this book.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 14, 2013

    Great book...until...

    I really liked this book UNTIL the end of chapter 102 and then I just felt as if the story went down hill. I don't mind some loose ends in a book but I really felt that after 500 pages the ending here REALLY left something to desired!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 24, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Beautiful writing!

    To anyone outside of her small community, Nicole Werner's death might just seem another tragic accident. But on the night of that fateful car crash, the lives of those involved were forever changed. Craig, the boy driving the car that night, continues to see Nicole around campus. Shelley, the only other witness to the accident, is haunted by the lack of truth in the newspaper reports following. Perry is Craig's roommate and Nicole's long-time friend, who has been holding in some troublesome secrets of his own. And Professor Mira Polson is the person who will ultimately bring these people together again to confront both the lies and the truth.

    Hmm. I wasn't sure what to think of this book. Was it a ghost story? Was it a murder mystery? Either way, it was certainly a powerful story. The writing was beautiful and lyrical. There is almost a strong intellectual feel to the structure, as if it is a professional academic text of some sort. The story does not move fast by any means, but the incredibly short chapters pulled me along relentlessly, making the whole book feel as though it went faster. The scenes alternate between characters and chronology at every turn, which could also account for the story feeling faster than the action actually was. And I will admit, there were a few downright spooky parts, which were scary in a subtle, very creepy way that totally snuck up on me. The characters of Perry and Mira were enjoyable to read, though there wasn't anything new or terribly exciting about either of them. The interesting one in my mind was the elusive and very angry Josie, who was Nicole's roommate and sorority sister. I wanted to see more from her point of view! She seemed to have so much more to her than what we saw. Overall, a good book for a dark and rainy winter's day.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2014

    Don't waste you're money

    This is one of the worst books I have read in a very long time, I am thankful I only spent $2.99 on it. Far fetched doesn't even begin to cover it.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2014

    Echhhhh

    A tad boring and strange.

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  • Posted February 28, 2014

    not what I expected...

    If you like a book with a few twists and turns this will be the one for you! Page turner and kept my interest..

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 6, 2012

    Awesome Book

    I couldn't put this book down. It definitely made me think about how quickly we judge others when we may not have the whole story...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2012

    Highly Recommened

    I really enjoyed this book. I recommend it to everyone. I just wish the ending was a little more conclusive.

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  • Posted July 27, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Could Have Been Great...

    This book had a great plot....but all it did was fail. I had all i could do to finish the 500 pages. Luckily by the end it got better, but then the ending sucked. Theres still so many questions left unanswered. Half the stuff in the book was totally pointless. It was as if the author had no clue about fitting it all together and then bam! It was over.

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  • Posted May 9, 2011

    AN INTERESTING PYSCHOLOGICAL THRILLER! THE RAISING BY LAURA KASISCHKE

    THE RAISING by Laura Kasischke is an interesting pyschological thriller.The plot is well written and is told from four different points of view. This is a deep dark story of apparent susides,supposedly accidential shootings,grief,death,rituals,cover ups,ghosts,lies,deception,disappeance,and college life. On a Midwest College campus, someone will die,ghosts will appear,and answers will be sought to the burning questions of what really happen.The death of a soroity girl,who lives on in the hearts of those who knew and loved her will bring about questions and some answers.If you enjoy a dark,twisted,haunting pyschological thriller full of dark secrets and what ifs than this is a story for you,it will keep you turning the pages and afraid to be alone. This is a haunting story of things we thought we knew and things we don't really want to know about life and death.This book was received for the purpose of review from Net Galley and the publisher and details can be found at Harper Perennial.a trademark of Harper Collins Publisher and My Book Addiction and More.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 21, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I found myself eagerly picking it up although I felt absolutely no affection for any of the characters.

    I can't say too much about the plot or I'll give something away but this was an odd, little book. It was odd in the way it made me feel. The Raising is about the death of a sorority girl and how she continues to live on in the hearts of those who knew her. Except there are details of her death that are beginning to come out and all is not what it's cracked up to be.

    Essentially, the story is simple but it's about so much more than what you see on the surface. It's about obsession and the power of memory. How much are we willing to admit when perfection is at stake? It's also very much a book about death and dying, but not in the traditional sense. The sense of mourning you feel while reading this novel is not what a grieving parent would feel. It's different. Part of that is due to the story itself, but some of it has to do with the tone of the novel. If I had to describe it artfully I'd say that it was like a B&W snapshot with torn edges. Stark. Blemished.

    I think if I were to focus on plot alone, I'd be rolling my eyes. It was a bit "out there" in places and not terribly realistic in others but I tend to focus on characters and although these characters would never be my friends, I found them wildly amusing. No, I can't say that I ever felt sorry for any of them or that I could even relate to their particular circumstance, but I could easily relate to the sorority life that Kasischke created. This coming from a "sister" who was blackballed from hers. Seriously, Kasischke nailed that aspect of it.

    I also liked the fact that these characters were not who they appeared to be. The human condition is often not what we expect it to be once you carve away gender, race and class. I was often frustrated with these characters but fascinated with them, too. I think this is why the story worked for me. I've been reading some other reviews and many have not liked the book. I suspect that those folks had issues with the plot. I can certainly see where they are coming from, but because I enjoy reading about characters who are less than desirable I was willing to let go of reality for a short while.

    If any of you've read Kasischke's In a Perfect World, and recall it taking quite awhile to get a feel for the main characters, you will experience the same thing here. The character development is not handled as delicately as In a Perfect World, but The Raising is its grittier sister. The stories were completely different in each but there are some similarities as far as the writing goes.

    Overall, I actually liked this one a lot more than I thought I would.

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  • Posted April 19, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    An unsettling tale of lies and deception that burrows deep into your perspective never to leave you unchanged.

    From the beginning to the end, this book kept my full attention. The Raising is just that kind of novel, that totally keeps you focused even while things buzz around you, it just pulls the reader in, keeping them in a trance. Kasischke adds just the right amount of characters at just the right time maintaining a perfect balance throughout her novel. While disrobing the irony in the beliefs of past cultures regarding death, through Mira an anthropology professor at the college. That after death playing it's card a body could possibly come back to life seems ridiculous, until you read this novel. In The Raising Mira teaches a class on death. You know one of those hard to get into college courses with a waiting list. Mira has traveled to other countries and studied their cultures, their customs, beliefs and superstitions regarding death and what may happen to a body afterward.

    Although most of these superstitions were based on the lack of technology and skills before medical doctors came along with a way to pronounce a person clinically dead. The fact is this really did happen, people did seem to come back to life, some even in their coffins or even more disturbing in the ground. Kasischke makes sure these superstitions seep into the back of your mind weaving a paranoid kind of feeling throughout the story. What actually did take place after the accident and supposed death of Nicole? The character of Nicole reminds me of someone suffering from bio-polar or a very disturbing personality disorder. Nicole hides a dark side which seems even her family covers up, or do they? I know how enabling parents can be when it comes to their children. How far will a parent go to cover up for their child? The college and sorority Nicole belongs to seems to do it's own share of concealing or looking the other way when it comes to the disappearance of other students. Could this possibly happen in real life? I believe some of these rituals, deaths and cover-ups happen more than people think. This possibility is what leaves you with an unsettling feeling long after you have reached the end of the book.

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    Posted March 27, 2011

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    Posted March 28, 2011

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    Posted May 7, 2011

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