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The Raising: A Novel (P.S.) Paperback – March 15, 2011

3.5 out of 5 stars 60 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Kasischke (In a Perfect World) delivers a satisfying if predictable campus novel that's both gothic romance and coming-of-age tale. A year after sorority girl Nicole Werner died in a car accident, Nicole's boyfriend, Craig Clements-Rabbitt, who was driving, is trying to put his life together. When snobbish sophisticate Craig had arrived from New Hampshire at Godwin Honors Hall—a selective college within a huge Midwestern university—he soon got on the nerves of his more down-to-earth roommate, Perry Edwards, and Perry's childhood schoolmate, the beautiful Nicole. Now, Craig is a sober soul, but Nicole's former sorority sisters are unwilling to let her "murderer" be. Meanwhile, Shelly Lockes, the first witness at the accident scene, is hounded out of town, and Mira Polson, a professor of anthropology who looks too closely at Nicole's death, is forced to resign. Students commit suicide or are "accidentally" shot dead. If the narrative is convoluted, so is the diabolical, if improbable, scheme hatched by the sisters of Omega Theta Tau. Big Sister, apparently, watches over us all. (Mar.)
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

From Booklist

Set in and around the campus of a fictional midwestern university, Kasischke’s eighth novel centers on a tragic car accident that has taken the life of beautiful, straight-A student Nicole. A year later, her sorority sisters are still up in arms and lay the blame for Nicole’s death on her boyfriend, Craig, who, they claim, is an irresponsible rich kid. But Craig’s roommate, Philip, who grew up with Nicole, has begun to think that she is not really dead and approaches his sociology professor, who is teaching a class on death, for help. Meanwhile, a witness to the accident has given up trying to straighten out the many erroneous newspaper accounts stating that Nicole was found covered in blood, for the girl she saw was not bleeding and not dead. Kasischke excels at depicting the psychology of the young and the traumatized even as she delivers a scathing indictment of the siege mentality of college administrators. In this literary page-turner, reminiscent of Donna Tartt’s Secret History (1992), the talented author inlays her academic novel with a touch of the supernatural and a deep sense of foreboding. --Joanne Wilkinson --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; First Paperback Edition edition (March 15, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062004786
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062004789
  • ASIN: B0071UIBU8
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 1.1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,863,239 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book grabbed me from the first page and kept me involved, right up until the end where it fell completely apart. The book was about 100 pages too long, and the author has a real love of giving back stories on every single character introduced, even if they're only introduced for a page or two. There were characters that served little purpose, other than propping up a plot point, but overall the book was pretty good...until the end. The book just ENDS. There was no resolution, nothing that paid off the reader for sticking with it for 500 pages. It was almost as if the publisher had a limit on the number of pages and she hit that limit about 3/4 of the way through her story. Really disappointing ending to a really good story.
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Format: Paperback
The author taps into the insular environment of a college campus and the public's fascination with the supernatural in an era when life beyond death offers an alternative explanation to the cold hard truth of an untimely loss. A year after sorority girl Nicole Werner dies in a car accident, her boyfriend, Craig Clements-Rabbit, still bears the blame, a myth quietly growing around the tragedy, stories of the blonde-haired beauty still tethered to the earth, her apparition sometimes caught briefly by on campus. Returning to his Midwestern campus, a still- distraught Craig is conscious only of his profound loss. To counter Craig's obsession, his roommate, Perry Edwards, signs up for a class with Mira Polson, professor of cultural anthropology, to study the rituals of death, cultural explanations for afterlife manifestations and entrenched superstitions that the dead can indeed rise and walk the earth. Meanwhile, the only witness to the incident, Shelly Lockes, cannot fathom why the local newspapers misrepresented the facts of the accident, entirely ignoring her eye-witness account of the tragedy.

In a strange confluence of disparate perspectives, including that of Nicole's sorority sister, Josie Riley, Kasischke fashions a compelling tale where imagination morphs with reason, a murky landscape in which the lost Nicole both haunts and comforts. Of course, logic dictates a reasonable explanation, the author presenting the story characters' memories and interactions, that don't quite fit together smoothly. Set in the college's Godwin Honors Hall, these relationships are by nature claustrophobic, the reports jarring in their inconsistencies, the perfect breeding ground for otherworldly suppositions. Plausibility is left for the reader to decide.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The Raising
By
Laura Kasischke

Hmm...loved it, didn't love it, loved it, didn't love it...loved it...The Raising was a valuable reading experience for me.
A student at a Midwestern university dies in a car accident. Her boyfriend is driving the car and rumors abound that he was on drugs or drinking or both. Craig, the angst ridden tortured boyfriend, has weird memories of what happened and to further confuse him...he feels as though he sees Nicole lurking around campus. There is so much mystery, angst, confusion, and questions within all of the key players in this book. Lives of almost everyone seem to unravel as the story ( but not the mystery ) unfolds. I still don't think I am quite sure what happened or what I would believe if I were in those circumstances. I loved the way the author allowed this story to meander...mysterious bit by mysterious bit. The incident was examined and questioned and sometimes there were no solid answers at all.
The writing and the tale were amazing. The lives of the students, especially Perry, Craig and Nicole were entwined from the very beginning. The professors who became involved...Mira and Shelly and Jack...with the students and this mystery...were interesting and provocative. The actions of the university as hidden truths were becoming less hidden were both frightening and brilliant. I have an extreme fondness for books that tell the story in descriptions from all of the key characters. This story did that and also told us where the characters were after they left campus.
Perry remains as my favorite character. He ironed his jeans, he bleached his socks and he kept his dorm room neat. These minor habits only helped me to understand what a fine and capable person he was.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
What if you thought you'd killed someone ... but they're not dead? This atmospheric, moody, multi-faceted novel explores the mystery behind a college love affair tragically torn asunder. This is a spellbinding read.
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Format: Paperback
Perry, a new college student from a small Midwestern town, finds himself drawn to his fellow students from his home town even they were not close in high school. His roommate, Craig, is from the East Coast and is completely condescending about their Midwestern college and Phillip's upbringing. Craig's not even remotely nice until he meets Nicole, one of Perry's high school classmates. As Craig and Nicole develop a relationship, life gets easier for Perry. Easier, that is, until Nicole dies in a car accident while Craig is at the wheel. From the beginning, something's not right about the accident. Shelly Lockes, the sole witness to the accident, can't understand why the newspaper wouldn't want to interview her about it when what they've reported isn't what happened. Things don't set well with Perry either and he eventually asks his anthropology professor, Mira Polson, to help him look into it. The Raising is a multifaceted novel about all that makes up college life and all that can go wrong when one attempts to question authority.

The Raising is a book that requires the reader to take a deep dive into the story. From the first I was unable to split my reading attention with any other novel. It forced my complete concentration and I gave it freely. I enjoyed living amidst Shelly, Perry, and Mira within the mystery they were all certain was taking place at the college. Their confusion and frustrations added to my own apprehension. There were several occasions where I was sure I knew where the story was going. I was wrong each and every time. I loved how I knew nothing that the characters didn't know.

This novel caught my attention while I was researching galleys on NetGalley. When I learned that Laura Kasischke was from Michigan, I immediately requested it from Harper Perennial.
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