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The Raising: A Novel

The Raising: A Novel

3.5 31
by Laura Kasischke

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“Kasischke’s writing does what good poetry does—it shows us an alternate world and lulls us into living in it . . . The language catapults us into another plane of existence, one of facade and reflection.”  —New York Times Book Review

“Haunting, unsettling, and unforgettable, The Raising limns love, longing,


“Kasischke’s writing does what good poetry does—it shows us an alternate world and lulls us into living in it . . . The language catapults us into another plane of existence, one of facade and reflection.”  —New York Times Book Review

“Haunting, unsettling, and unforgettable, The Raising limns love, longing, belonging and the things we only think we know about life—and yes, death.” —Caroline Leavitt, author of Pictures of You

From Laura Kasischke, the critically acclaimed, bestselling author of In a Perfect World and The Life Before Her Eyes, comes a hypnotic mystery about one girl’s  tragic death and the fallout that occurs on her closely-knit college campus. Part Stephen King, part Donna Tartt, and wholly  unforgettable , Kasischke’s The Raising sets a new standard for hair-raising literary suspense.

Editorial Reviews

Family Circle
“Dark, disquieting...starts off as a tragic love story—beautiful sorority girl killed in a car accident—then is skillfully transformed into a thoroughly modern ghost story. Each character is haunted by the memories and repercussions of that night. Lyrical, layered and riveting to the final page.”
Marie Claire (UK)
“An atmospheric shiver-fest . . . [a] devious, claustrophobic chiller.”
Caroline Leavitt
“Haunting, unsettling, and unforgettable, THE RAISING limns love, longing, belonging and the things we only think we know about life—and yes, death. Told in knockout, shimmering prose, it’s a literary mystery that’s as hypnotic as it is brilliant.”
Fay Weldon
“A fine writer, a haunted and haunting tale, a flurry of beautiful girls — you don’t put this book down once you’ve picked it up.”
Nylon Magazine
“Scary, spooky, sexy... we couldn’t put it down.”
Amy MacKinnon
“From the first page of THE RAISING, Laura Kasischke tells a story of great weight and wicked beauty . . . Don’t bother trying to put it down; it will call you back, and you’ll go. Surrender. You’ll be glad you did.”
“[A] literary page-turner reminiscent of Donna Tartt’s Secret History.”
Chicago Tribune
“THE RAISING is that rare thing: a literary novel distinguished by splendid prose that is also a down-and-dirty page-turner, a creep show featuring empty caskets and walking corpses. It’s as if “The Grapes of Wrath” had been rewritten by H.P. Lovecraft.”
New York Times Book Review
“Almost a supernatural thriller, almost a campus satire and almost but not quite a coming-of-age tale...Kasischke remains aware that she works in familiar traditions: her scenes play knowingly with the expectations...that her precedents raise, from “Buffy” to Euripides’ “Bacchae.”
Grand Rapids Press
“Nothing is as it first appears in Laura Kasischke’s suspense novel THE RAISING...Just when readers think they’ve got it all figured out, there’s another twist that spins them off in another direction...The kind of story readers won’t soon forget.”

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HarperCollins Publishers
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Meet the Author

Laura Kasischke teaches in the MFA program at the University of Michigan. A winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for poetry, she has published eight collections of poetry and ten novels, three of which have been made into films, including The Life Before Her Eyes.

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The Raising 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 31 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
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
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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!
autumnbluesreviews More than 1 year ago
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.
ReginaR More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A tad boring and strange.
LindaandEd More than 1 year ago
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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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 More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. I recommend it to everyone. I just wish the ending was a little more conclusive.
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Kristy1984 More than 1 year ago
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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TiBookChatter More than 1 year ago
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.