Review: The Raising by Laura Kasischke

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; Original edition (March 15, 2011)
  • ISBN-10: 0062004786
  • Source: Publisher

    One year earlier, a tragic car accident takes the life of Nicole, a beautiful, straight-A sorority student at a midwestern university.  Her boyfriend, Craig, the driver of the car, is held responsible for her death. The accident is witnessed by Shelly, a staff member at the local college.  She calls 911 and reports that both Craig & Nicole are alive, and talking.  However, the local newspaper reports that Nicole was found dead, in a pool of blood, burned beyond recognition. Shelly’s upset that her account of the accident has gone ignored and despite many attempts, the newspaper fails to print the truth.

    Now a year later,Craig has now returned to school and finds it impossible to get over Nicole’s death. Fellow students claim that Craig was intoxicated & fled the scene, leaving Nicole’s dead body. Nicole’s sorority sisters can’t get over this & venemently hate that Craig has “gotten off” so lightly. He hasn’t, however.  Already a cynical young man, Craig is truly tortured by what happened to his first love.

    Craig’s roomate, Perry, holds his own guilt.  He grew up in the same town as Nicole & introduced her to Craig.  He feels that Craig is suffering from amnesia after the accident & can’t recall what happened that fateful night. He also believes that Nicole (and another former student) haunt the halls of  Godwin Honors Hall; he and a few others have admitted to seeing someone resembling Nicole around campus.  A few have even claimed to have been intimate with her.

    Perry divulges this information to Mira Polson, a sociology professor who teaches a freshman class on death and dying. Mira then becomes obsessed with Nicole’s death, and soon discoveres a whole host of other deaths on campus. She reveals a whole host of secrets involving campus politics and peer pressure.

    The Raising is a dark, almost gothic, tale. A very strong character-driven novel, it is told by the viewpoints of several main characters.  The reader learns a great deal about Nicole through the characters’ retelling of her life. The timeline switches from past to present, giving a vivid view of what transpired before and after the horrible accident. 

    I was drawn into the story within the first several pages.  I’m known to enjoy a good supernatural tale; while reading even I got goosebumps. While the book is nearly 400 pages, I flew through it in a matter of hours.  I was drawn to the characters, the “mystery.” I appreciated the underlying storyline of how our culture deals with death and dying.  Each of the characters, while not victims of the accident directly, are forever affected by what happened that night.

    This isn’t, obviously, a light read.  The characters are each attempting to recover from the death of Nicole, no matter how they were involved/affected by the accident.  However, if you are looking for a haunting, suspenseful read, The Raising is the book for you! Highly recommended!

    Thank you to TLC Book Tours for providing me the opportunity to review this book. Please check out the remaining tours on this stop:

    Wednesday, April 6th: Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers
    Thursday, April 7th: Wordsmithonia
    Friday, April 8th: Proud Book Nerd

    6 Comments to "Review: The Raising by Laura Kasischke"

    1. April 5, 2011 - 11:18 AM | Permalink

      Great review…and well said…though I had quite a different experience with it. No worries, all will be revealed tomorrow. That’s the beauty of reading and blogging….so many can read the same book and yet each walk away with something unique. Thanks for sharing your adventure…happy reading!

    2. Heather J. @ TLC Book Tours's Gravatar Heather J. @ TLC Book Tours
      Twitter: age30books
      April 5, 2011 - 11:39 AM | Permalink

      That the book is 400 pages yet you blew through it AND it kept your interest the whole time says a great deal. I’m glad this was such a hit with you!

    3. Word Lily's Gravatar Word Lily
      Twitter: Wordlily
      April 5, 2011 - 11:43 AM | Permalink

      have you read Kasischke’s other book? I shied away from this one, since I didn’t love the first one.

    4. Rebecca Rasmussen's Gravatar Rebecca Rasmussen
      April 5, 2011 - 2:28 PM | Permalink

      I will put this on my darker reads list and see if the mood strikes me soon :)

    5. bermudaonion (Kathy)'s Gravatar bermudaonion (Kathy)
      Twitter: bermudaonion
      April 5, 2011 - 2:49 PM | Permalink

      I don’t read a lot of books like that, but I do enjoy them from time to time. I’m making a note of this title.

    6. S. Krishna's Gravatar S. Krishna
      Twitter: skrishna
      April 6, 2011 - 9:01 AM | Permalink

      Oh, this sounds great. I can’t wait to get to it. Thanks for the review!

    Comments are closed.

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