Customer Reviews for

The Raising: A Novel

Average Rating 3.5
( 30 )
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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

2 out of 3 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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  • 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!

    2 out of 3 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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  • 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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