Read The Raising by Laura Kasischke Online


Last year Godwin Honors Hall was draped in black. The university was mourning the loss of one of its own: Nicole Werner, a blond, beautiful, straight-A sorority sister tragically killed in a car accident that left her boyfriend, who was driving, remarkably--some say suspiciously--unscathed.Although a year has passed, as winter begins and the nights darken, obsession with NLast year Godwin Honors Hall was draped in black. The university was mourning the loss of one of its own: Nicole Werner, a blond, beautiful, straight-A sorority sister tragically killed in a car accident that left her boyfriend, who was driving, remarkably--some say suspiciously--unscathed.Although a year has passed, as winter begins and the nights darken, obsession with Nicole and her death reignites: She was so pretty. So sweet-tempered. So innocent. Too young to die.Unless she didn't.Because rumor has it that she's back....

Title : The Raising
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780857891563
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 292 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Raising Reviews

  • Regina
    2018-10-11 03:08

    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. This book will be published on 3/15/11. I received this book from NetGalley to review for the publisher.

  • Nikki K
    2018-09-24 21:52

    I didn't hate this book. In fact, I had a hard time putting it down. It was a fast paced, suspenseful and interesting story. However, I have to admit that I was ticked off when I finished reading it. The ending was horrible! This is the story of a college campus tragedy. Nicole Werner was a freshman sorority girl the year before this tale takes place. She dies in a mysterious car accident while her boyfriend, Craig, who was driving, survives, but without any memory of that night.The story is told by many characters, including Craig; his roommate, Perry; Shelley, the only witness to the accident; and Mira, a college professor, who teaches Death Studies at Godwin Honors Hall. This book also shifts between the present semester and the year before when Nicole was alive. We get to understand who Nicole was through these flashbacks. I gotta admit, the more I learned, the less I liked her... and Craig and even the Eagle Scout, Perry. There are many secrets under the surface at this college, unfortunately, you will not get much satisfaction upon finishing this novel.Are ghosts real? Is Nicole alive? What really happened that night? The author leaves you guessing. The one character hypotheses about what really happened that night, but I wanted more. I committed to reading over 450 pages, but was left with a final chapter that didn't really "do it" for me.

  • Tauna
    2018-10-08 22:09

    What I learned from The Raising: (view spoiler)[Sororities are evil organizations full of cruel women who have the capability to murder and then cover up said murder by faking someone else's death. They also have power over their university, local newspaper, and police force to aid in their cover up, and will stop at nothing (including ruining two careers, a marriage, and driving someone to suicide) to get rid of anyone who could expose them. And all of this, to protect their right to practice hazing rituals. Also, apparently no one thinks the F word is vulgar any more.(hide spoiler)]From reading the back of the book, I expected kind of a love lost ghost story; which you kind of get a feel for, but is shadowed by the overarching conspiracy. (view spoiler)[(And, as it turns out, the love lost wasn't even dead!)(hide spoiler)]The characters weren't likable, the plot had its moments and the writing was good but the story didn't always flow. It also seemed to skip the conclusion to jump forward 15 years, without really explaining what had happened, just giving bits and pieces to put your own crappy collage of events together. It was a quick read, but really not very satisfying.And also, lots of descriptions of sex, including lesbian sex. Really did not need those details, thank you.

  • Nancy
    2018-10-16 00:45

    The story starts out really strong. There's an accident. A girl has been thrown out of the car on a semi-rural road. A professor at the college saw it from a distance and is the first person on the scene. What she saw happen and what the newspapers and college report, however, are very different. The next chapter is a few months later when everybody arrives back on campus after summer break. The book follows key characters and explores the way the accident impacted their lives (or deaths).Nicole Werner: She was the girl thrown from the car. She died. Or did she? She was a chaste virgin who was sweet, innocent, and loved her boyfriend, Craig. Or not. Other accounts indicate she was a slutty sorority girl who manipulated men and boys with her body. With Craig, she was what he wanted her to be.Craig: Stuck up rich kid. Falls in love with Nicole, driver of the crashed car. Doesn't remember much of anything from the crash or shortly thereafter. What really happened to him? Was he duped? If so, how?Perry: Craig's roommate who grew up with Nicole. He gathers information regarding the circumstances of Nicole's death and discovers that things may not be what they seem.Shelley: The woman who came to the scene of the crash first. Professor of Art, respected, frustrated with how the newspaper and authorities reported and handled the crash.Mira: Professor of Anthropology, mother of twins, married to Mr. Bipolar. Takes interest in Perry's thesis that the accident is not what it seemed. What a fascinating premise! There are sightings of Nicole. Is she really dead? Is she a ghost? What really happened at the scene of the crash? Why can't Craig remember anything? Who is Nicole Werner? Clearly, something is going on at this sorority house. One of the residents, Josie, is a character that is constantly showing up and making her presence known. She is manipulative and completely without a moral compass. In fact, the girls in the sorority house lack a moral compass. The writing is good. The story is compelling but, when push comes to shove, I can't recommend this book. It is raunchy. Not just a sex scene here or there but details that are forever burned in my head. Lesbian sex is spelled out in detail. It seems that on this campus, sex is paramount to all the students and faculty. There is a lot of pushing the boundaries with faculty and students, woman on woman, girl with anybody, boy with anybody. The story would be just as clear without all the detail.Speaking of detail, the book takes off in a number of side stories that I found interesting but not relevant. Mira is having marital problems. Her husband is an unhappy househusband. Their twins have their own language. Perry got dumped by his high school girlfriend and now her husband is a vegetable because of an incident in Iraq. Craig's parents are divorced. All these strands lead off from the main story and don't seem to go anyplace.My biggest complaint is that the ending was not satisfying. I spent over 400 pages glimpsing each character and formulating more questions about them. I wanted closure to not only the story but for each character. I found out if Mira's marriage survived and how Craig is doing later in life. I am still unclear about the accident, what caused it, where Nicole is, who is Nicole, and why there were such extravagant measures taken to cover it up. It seemed that the details of setting up the crash, the sorority secrecy, Shelley's life and Mira's marriage problems are well articulated. I wanted the ending to have the same care given. It felt like a different author wrote the last 50 pages.Strong writing. Take out the raunch and extraneous details, give me the answers to my questions, and I would have loved this book.

  • Crystal
    2018-10-13 21:04

    This book gave me the chills and kept me up at night thinking. The story centers around several people and is told from several different points of view. One thing they all have in common is Nicole Werner, the girl who supposedly died by the hands of her boyfriend Craig. I really liked how the author weaved together the lives of so many different people. I was also intrigued with the college campus life that was used as the backdrop. I could possibly see some of these events occurring in real life which again gives me the chills. I grieved for the characters and I hoped along with them throughout the entire book. My only problem is that the book could get a little too wordy for me. At times I would find myself skimming the text so that I could get to the meat of the story.I never wanted to put this book down even after I read it I wanted to pick it back up again to make sure I read every last word. The ending stunned me and I wished there had been a different conclusion, but for the most part I liked this book. I look forward to reading other books from this author.

  • Lydia Presley
    2018-10-01 03:47

    I just finished this book and I'm seriously messed up. In The Raising, Laura Kasischke tackles sororities, hazing, murder, and cover-ups and she does it from the viewpoints of several people involved: the witness, the victim, the victim's boyfriend, the best friend, the professor. They all have intricate parts and slowly, but surely, Kasischke weaves together their stories patiently bringing the reader to the end conclusion.Except, was there one? From here on out will be some spoiler-type information so if you are interested in this book, feel free to stop and move on!This book was unputdownable good. The story was written well, the pace was exciting, information was given to me in the perfect amounts and I was actually biting my nails at one point and crying out with anger at actions that occurred. But then it reached this huge climax... and nothing happened except a jump to a completely different time.That, folks, is the most frustrating thing you can do to someone reading a book like this.So while I loved the tension and mystery (and could have done without the sex scenes and much of the language), the end of the book left me frustrated, angry and astonished that it ended .. like that.So I'm torn - I could recommend this book, but if I did so I'd do it with a warning. Be prepared for the ending, it may not be what you are expecting (or hoping for).

  • Michelle, the Bookshelf StalkerQueen of the Undead
    2018-09-27 23:53

    4 out of 5 starsI liked this book. I liked it enough to read it in almost one sitting. I usually don’t like mysteries especially ones with multiple POV. However, this book pushed all the right buttons for me. I didn’t even mind the ending which was not what I expected. It is a very fast moving book because you already know the “what” from the beginning; you are learning the “why” throughout the book.I recommend this book to mystery & contemporary readers OR anyone else looking for something different!

  • Angela
    2018-09-26 23:58

    This book went no where. Ending was pointless and made the rest of the book seem pointless.

  • Tze-Wen
    2018-10-01 00:51

    Let me start by saying that The Raising is a novel with potential. Its cover shows a blond girl lying in the grass, her profile illuminated by moonlight. The story is about a seemingly perfect sorority girl hitting it off with the wrong guy and dying tragically in a car accident. From the beginning, the author slips a few hints about her coming back from the dead (perhaps in a sensual vampire-like fashion?) while slowly revealing what happened in the preceding year. The trouble I had with this novel, is that I was expecting to encounter more suspense and eerie scenes in the first 130 pages, but when I realized that it could take maybe more than half of the book to see anything happening at all, I just could not muster any more enthusiasm for the book... and so I decided to stop reading.Personally, I felt that the author tried too hard at giving all the main characters (Craig, Perry, Nicole, Shelly and Mira) sufficient depth. At the point where I stopped reading, I could still not understand why Mira was married to a good-for-nothing stay-at-home dad or how Shelly's character would be more credible if she were portrayed as a lesbian.* Furthermore, even though I am an university student myself, I could not relate to the students or their lifestyles whatsoever. An explanation for this could be that student life can differ enormously, according to the country you live in. The structure of the chapters confused me, it was difficult (with the several main characters at the back of my mind) to understand whether something was happening now or a year ago. The story itself was proceeding too slowly, and I kept wondering whether the author intended to further explore the topic of (coping with) loss of a loved one, or perhaps the challenges of college life... it was difficult to believe that the story would eventually reveal what really happened on that dreadful night when Nicole died, and/or whether she had indeed risen from the dead in one way or another. In retrospect, I feel disappointed because I was expecting to read something different. It doesn't mean it's not a good book, just that I, as one individual reader, failed to enjoy it. *GLBT lit is something I'd like to explore more, but I felt that in this particular character it did not add to her personality at all.

  • Angela
    2018-09-30 22:56

    This book started off with a lot of mystery and intrigue and kept me going until the very last part of the book. It has 5 parts, the first 4 are fairly fast paced, really interesting, and everyone has an interesting story. Each character is developed fairly well and the reader easily gets a sense of who they are. The whole book is written in a way where I was wondering what was going on. Who was playing with whose mind, were things as they seemed or was there something much more sinister going on. I liked how the author tried to portray that each person deals with death differently. However what I didn't like is that in the end she made it seem like we all deal with it the same, which wasn't her initial concept, not in my mind anyway. Regardless of what you believe is going on, what I don't like is the Universities reaction to all of the events going on. It's hard for me to believe that a small University city would be so completely controlled by a sorority. The paper, the police, University big wigs? Yeah, I don't think so. I didn't like the sheer stupidity of some of the characters either, especially when in most other aspects in their life they are intelligent capable beings. The fifth part of the book leaves the conclusion open ended. It's clear that a cover up happened, but I would have liked more information on why the sorority did things in the way that they did things. Their way seemed a lot more complex and unnecessary. I felt the ending was a cop out, and that the author could have done more to tie up loose ends. I realize some authors like to leave the loose ends in order for the reader to make their own interpretation, but I've never been a big fan of that style of writing. It just seems like such an easy way for the author to write without having to actually think of a solid conclusion.

  • Sharla
    2018-10-13 04:03

    This book was awful. The beginning was interesting enough to catch my attention, but then it just got smuttier and dirtier throughout. I wanted to find out what happened so against my better judgment I kept reading. Bad idea. This book did not end, it did not wrap anything up or resolve any of the problems. I did not like a single character in the book. They were all immoral and awful. I know people are human and make mistakes but I hope people are not usually as stupid as the people in this book. My recommendation is to not read this book. Ever.

  • Faustine
    2018-09-14 22:54

    Plot and characters kept me reading and hoping it was leading up to some kind of the-good-shall-prevail-in-the-end ending, but instead it was weird, abrupt and disappointing.

  • Vegantrav
    2018-09-21 21:10

    This is a fascinating mystery about a girl, Nicole, who is killed (or is she?) in an automobile accident with her boyfriend, Craig.Nicole, however, even after her death, continues to appear to Craig, to his roommate, Perry, and to a a few of their other friends. Is she a ghost, haunting them all? Is she a vampire? Is she a succubus? For most of the novel, we don't know if this is actually a supernatural thriller or if the author is going to provide us with a rational explanation, but about 2/3 or 3/4 of the way through, it becomes clear what is happening (but I won't say here so as not to spoil anything).In the end, we know, with a high degree of certainty, what happened to Nicole despite many ambiguities left unresolved. We readers are compelled to tear through the pages as the answer to the riddle of the novel is slowly, though not completely, revealed, and we find ourselves caring very deeply about the fates of the main characters, both the "good guys" (Craig, Perry, Mira, Shelley, Debbie) and the "bad guys" (particularly Josie).Overall, this was a great read, and I really loved it until I reached the end, an end that came, from my perspective too soon. (See below.)****SPOILER ALERT****There are a few major issues that the author does not resolve:1. Why would Nicole's family be willing to participate in this elaborate deception to fake her death all in an effort to maintain the good reputation and standing of a sorority? There seems to be no good motivation for deception on such a grand scale and involving something as serious as faking Nicole's death to cover up the death of one her sorority sisters, and the author gives us not even a single clue on this issue.2. Does Nicole have a twin? Near the end, it seems that Perry and Craig both encounter Nicole at the same time in two distant locations. Is Craig or is Perry hallucinating? It doesn't seem so from the context, and if they are not hallucinating, how do they both see Nicole in two different places at the same time when we know she is not a ghost? 3. What is Nicole's own motivation, before the accident, for toying with Craig? Is she really just some sort of evil temptress? How is it that the pretty, intelligent young girl from a small town who seemingly has small town values goes off to college and starts a relationship with Craig only to lead him on while sleeping with his friends? Nicole's behavior is left completely unexplained. There is an exchange between Nicole and Perry where Perry basically asks her if she's mentally ill or just plain evil, and, of course, she doesn't answer this, but it seems that she must be either seriously mentally disturbed or a total psychopath to explain her behavior, or maybe she really does have an "evil twin." We just don't know.4. Josie's character is really just unbelievable. She is such a horrible person that if Hitler and Stalin and Leona Helmsley read this novel, even they would react to Josie by saying, "What a bitch!" To believe that a 19-year-old girl would be capable of trying to destroy so many people's lives just for the sake of her sorority really boggles the mind. Josie is just an absolutely despicable character, so despicable, in fact, that her behavior betrays the bounds of realism, even for a work of fiction.5. There is a huge problem believing the cover-up of Denise's death and the substitution of Nicole's pseudo-death for Denise's. So many people at so many levels would have had to have been involved: university officials, sorority officials, the police, the EMTs (it would have been more than just the EMT that the sorority paid off) who responded to the accident, news reporters. To believe that all of them and Nicole's family would have participated in this cover-up is completely incredible.6. What happened to Jeff Blackhawk? Why are we told about Mira's fate but not Jeff's? Did Mira and Jeff get married? At the end of the novel, Mira is living in West Texas, where Jeff is from, but Jeff doesn't seem to be in the picture at all. Did Mira and Jeff get married and then divorce? Did Jeff die? What happened to Jeff?7. What happened to Nicole and her family and to Josie? We're given a snapshot of the fates of most of the other main character a decade and a half after the main events of the novel, but we are told absolutely nothing about what happens to the central character, Nicole, and to her family nor anything about Josie's fate. This was really disappointing and made the novel feel incomplete.Despite all these problems, I still really enjoyed this novel, at least for the first 460 pages. When I arrived at page 461 (the last page), and realized everything was not going to be satisfactorily resolved, I cannot deny being greatly disappointed, but, up to that point, I really loved the novel, and so I cannot give it an overall negative review when I was so highly entertained by it.

  • Cynthia
    2018-09-17 03:40

    A horrible car accident happens on a college campus and a girl dies. Craig was the driver and Nicole, his girlfriend, is thrown from the car but she’s alive when Shelly, a staff member at the Midwestern College the kids attend, arrives. She quickly calls 911 and leaves as help arrives. This isn’t how it’s reported in the local paper however despite Shelly’s efforts to correct the story. It doesn’t help that Craig has amnesia following the accident. By the time he returns to campus a semester later everyone believes he was drunk and fled the scene of the accident. As on most college campuses there’s lots of intrigue as the students experience personal firsts such as love, meeting many new people, new academic vistas, etc. Also, in Nicole’s case she and her friends are entering into the Greek system with all its secrets and rites of passage aka hazing. Craig thinks she’s silly for involving herself in such nonsense and it becomes a contention between them but she’s his first real love. He’s willing to accommodate her wishes about anything in order to stay in the relationship. To add more heat to the mix Craig’s college roommate is Perry who grew up in the same tiny town as Nicole and the two have history together which continues to complicate the dynamic between the three. Kasischke writes a fun and literate mystery with lots of atmosphere as she whisks you back and forth between different character’s perspectives and back and forth from past and to future. This is one of those books you can’t put down until you get to the end. I was a bit disappointed with the ending but have to admit it was true to life.This review is based on an ebook galley supplied by the publisher.

  • Nicole
    2018-09-26 02:40

    [SPOILERS]This book. THIS BOOK. I finished reading it at 11pm and my first instinct was to put my shoes on and take it across the street to the library drop box (yes I live across the street from the library, envy me), because this book! I had to get it out of my house immediately.Okay, so, last year Nicole Werner was killed when the car her boyfriend Craig was driving went off the road. And of course she was blond and leggy and beautiful because that makes it much more sad than if she was fat and pimply faced. But anyway so she was killed in this car wreck and Craig as drunk or high, or whatever, but he was never charged with anything so now he's back for his sophomore year.But oh wait, now we are back to last year. Because clearly someone took the chapters of this book, tossed them in the air, and then put them back together in whatever order they landed in.And can I just stop right here to say what a great big pile of no this book is? Seriously.But anyway so now people around campus have been seeing Nicole. In pictures, sneaking into their dorm rooms, etc. And Craig's roommate is taking a class about death and Craig is (obviously) depressed. And Shelly, the woman who came upon the accident, can't get anyone to listen to her and starts having an affair with a sorority girl, and ...Ugh, I just ... Such a slow, tedious build up. Agonizing. And then [spoiler] it ends. I can't even ...So minus one star for the mental anguish it caused me, and one THIS BOOK HAS NO ENDING. Well, I mean obviously it ends, but it doesn't actually SOLVE anything. For serious. And minus another half because ugh, spoiled rotten, evil, over-privileged kids.

  • Britney
    2018-10-05 04:56

    You know when you finish reading a great book and are left wondering if what you read read was real or not? I need to Facebook these people, they HAVE to be real. Where did they go to school? That's how I felt as I finished The Raising. It was not a YA book and there were some scenes that are not meant for younger readers, but I would highly recommend it to mature readers. The plot was completely different from anything that I have read and all of the characters seemed unbelievably real. And the writing! My God, the writing! Talk about poetic and beautiful. Kasischke can definitely write and I hope I can write at least half as well as she does.The story was a bit of a psychological thriller mixed with a whodunnit feeling and I loved every bit of it. The pacing of the story was crafted perfectly for the story. Shifts in character POVs and time don't always work but Kasischke did an amazing job making the story flow well.The only thing I didn't love about The Raising was the ending. I ended the book feeling as though there were things left unsaid, questions left unanswered. But even that seems to work with the story because the characters were real and even years after the timing of the story, they didn't have their questions fully answered. It was a great read that felt both smart and fun. I would recommend it for mature readers who like stories that are different from the repeated story lines. Read more reviews on

  • Stephen Durrant
    2018-10-13 02:02

    As a part-time resident of France, I am often mystified by French judgments of American literature. This year much attention has focused on Laura Kasischke, whom one French critic even proclaimed "America's greatest living writer." Yes,"mystified" is the right word. "Raising" is a clever novel . . . thoroughly competent . . . probably would be a good movie, but I just don't see much exceptional here. This is a campus novel, which has at its center a group of sorority sisters who are engaged in dark, disturbing rituals. A host of characters are victimized by their nasty games--it's really not pleasant, even dangerous, to be on a campus where this kind of s___ is going on. But I did keep on reading, wondering myself exactly what really was that was going on. So why all the excitement in France? Well, I'm not entirely sure. Perhaps Kasischke's novel paints a picture of a college campus in America that satisfies certain French stereotypes. Or maybe Kasischke's French translator is a literary genius who turns the English into the French of a Gide or a Proust. None of this is meant to demean Kasischke, who is a competent writer to be sure (gee, wish I could write so well). But I am scratching my head: "America's best living writer?"

  • Nancyewhite
    2018-09-29 02:47

    I don't know how I feel about this book. At least partially this is due to an impression that the author doesn't know how she feels about the book's story and resolution. I found it compelling reading for many chapters where I'd want to rush to pick up where I left off if I had to set it aside. Other times, however, it was annoying and slow-moving. The basic story is that of a sorority girl who was killed in a car accident and may or may not be haunting the campus. It moves back and forth in time pre- and post-accident and is told through the eyes of her boyfriend, his roomate, the woman who found them on the side of the road, a teacher etc. Midway through the details of the mystery became clear to me, but I felt that the writer was ambivalent about the plot decisions that she made and never resolved it satisfactorily. There are moments of satisfying gothic-ness, and the characters are well-developed and interesting with each one's story giving a real sense of them as people. Nonetheless, this one could have been much better with some decisiveness by Kasischke.

  • Patti
    2018-10-12 03:45

    The author of this book teaches at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, which is where I live. So the book grabbed me right away, as I read the description of Craig and his father driving through town. I read this entire book in about four days (I am on summer break), which should tell you how much I enjoyed it!I had read some non-spoiler reviews before I read it, so I got the impression that the last part of the book was lacking. Indeed, the author never really explains what happened to Nicole and why she was seen in Bad Axe(a real place I've been to!) and in Ann Arbor at the same time. Or why Nicole played virginal to Craig but was screwing around. And what about poor Denise?! At first, I was a little miffed and thought that the author just said "screw it" because she couldn't come up with a proper explanation. But I am giving her the benefit of the doubt and hoping she is going with the Hitchcock thing that says what we don't see is scarier than what we see.There are some glaring issues though. First, how is it that a body was positively identified by just jewelry and clothing? Dental records, anyone? Next, I was in a sorority and we really don't have that much power. (Did the author get burned during her own Rush?). It was a little unbelievable that a sorority would have that much power...a university in a university town, possibly. I guess I could see a cover up by UM (indeed, nearby Eastern Michigan University tried to cover up a murder several years ended about as disastrously as you would think). I also got REALLY tired of reading about HAIR HAIR HAIR!!! I think the author has a hair fetish. I get that the girls were all beautiful with straight blonde hair and perfect asses. Not all sorority girls look like that (I surely don't and didn't when I was in Chi Omega!). I also am not sure why the issues with the twins' language skills was in the book...was it just to show that Mira's husband (whose name escapes me at the moment) was an idiot? Because that message came through pretty strong! ;)But despite these complaints, I still really liked this book. Her writing is amazing! I found all of the characters believable. Some other reviewers complained about how the story was told (she jumped around in time quite a bit), but that didn't bother me. It helped me not totally hate Craig, who I surely would have hated if I had no idea that his comeuppance was coming. I also liked the insight into academia. You would have to shoot me to get me to put up with that shit (even though a huge paycheck and four month summer would be nice--and don't give me that bullshit that professors don't make any can check UM salaries online and they are all more than I make as a K-12 public schoolteacher) and it was kind of validating to read about how it is at "publish or perish" places.The whole idea of death rituals and college ghosts also intrigued me. I got caught up in Mira's enthusiasm for the subject and kind of wish there were classes like that (er, without the trip to the morgue, thanks!!). I am going to read the author's other books to see how she handles the endings. Then I will know if I was correct to give her the benefit of the doubt about how this book ended.

  • Jennifer
    2018-10-05 21:50

    The Basic Story: Set on a fictional Midwestern campus, the novel weaves a rather complicated tale about a sorority girl named Nicole Werner who was killed in a car accident and whether her ghost has come back to haunt the campus. The book follows several characters. First, we have Craig—a snotty rich boy who was driving the car when the fatal accident took place and Nicole’s boyfriend. Then we have Perry—Craig’s roommate—who grew up in the same small town as Nicole. We also meet Shelley, the first person on the scene of the accident. Finally, we meet Mira—a professor of anthropology whose specialty is death rituals. The novel tracks how each of these characters are affected by Nicole’s death and the strange circumstances surrounding it—resulting in life-changing consequences for each of them.My Thoughts: Oh, I so wanted to love this book! I was a big fan of Kasischke’s previous dystopic novel, In A Perfect World, and was thrilled when I saw she had a new book. The premise sounded so promising too—a ghost story set on a college campus! (And how intriguing is that cover.) At the beginning, I was encouraged; Kasischke does a great job of setting the scene and getting us into the heads of the different characters. However, things started to fall apart for me. The biggest problem was that Kasischke seemed to have trouble committing to what kind of novel she was writing: is this a gothic tale with supernatural elements? a conspiracy thriller? a good old-fashioned ghost story? This indecision on the part of the author led to a less than satisfying conclusion. In fact, I was still puzzling things out at the end as Kasischke seemed to want to have her cake and eat it too. There are some good elements here, but they didn’t come together in a satisfying way for me. (In fact, I would go so far as to call the plot as I understood it ridiculously ludicrous and unbelievable.) I ended up being very disappointed and can’t really recommend this book. This saddens me because I think Kasischke is a talented writer and—if she had fully committed herself one way or another—she could have had a wonderful book on her hands. (However, I would recommend In A Perfect World if you’d like to try a grown-up’s version of a dystopic book instead of a YA version.)

  • Georgette
    2018-10-07 23:50

    Holy crap, if you want a tangled web of a read, this is the book you want to read. I had never read anything by Laura Kasischke, but after this, I am most certainly going to look more into her other works. Nicole Werner is killed in a car accident with her boyfriend, and mourned by the school. The sorority of the fallen girl fights to have her boyfriend- who is accused of "murdering" Nicole-banned from the college for good. A professor is teaching a class- in death and the act of dying and the aftermath of death- at the same college she attended. A sorority girl works for a college administrator and seduces her into an illicit affair with her, leading to the revelation and firing of that administrator. A best friend suffers guilt over his illicit affair with the mourned Nicole. An anguished mother searchs for her missing daughter, vanished from the same college that they all go to, but no one seems to remember her missing daughter in light of the death of Nicole. A young girl lives quietly and nurses suspicions about a sorority on the campus. How do they all tie together? Unbelievably. I cannot even begin to describe the various characters and the effortless way Kasischke ties it all into the death of Nicole. I have not read a book of this magnitude in some time. I simply could NOT put it down, the more the characters fleshed out on the canvas, the more you were drawn into the wicked tale. And wicked it is. It makes you ponder the depth of mind games and human deception in the wake of popularity contests that take place everyday in sororities in campuses across America. You've read and heard stories of bullying, books have been written, but I can fairly say I have never read a fictionalized account of what i believed was a young lady's death in a car crash and it ended up spiraling off into hazing and secret sororities and the like. It really messes your psyche up, this novel. But in a good way, if it's possible that a book centered around these subject matters can do. This is the book that does all of that. Simply put, fantastic, fantastic, fantastic in messing up your head, but stunning in its conclusion.

  • Ryandake
    2018-10-13 00:06

    literary horror? horror without the gore? here's a ghost story wrapped in a lit-fic wrapper, a quite well-written tale of deranged sorority sisters and the lengths they will go to in protecting their twisted here's the setup (not spoilery, i think this is all on the back cover): a young woman is killed in a car accident one night, but somehow doesn't seem to be entirely dead. she keeps getting spotted by old friends and acquaintances and lovers. she is apparently not terribly happy about being dead, either, because she is most definitely not coming back to report on the angels-and-choirs thing.but! lest you think this is just a tale for people who haven't yet developed any crow's feet, let me assure you there are some adults in this story, and their tales intersect with the young 'uns doings in some uniquely horrible ways.this book is very well-plotted and the characterization of most is superb. there's an excess of long shining hair, which gets a bit old. and oddly, the dead young woman is probably the least-examined of all the characters in the book--it leaves one feeling that there's a kind of donut hole in the middle of the book. but the other characters are so well-done that it's not a killer lack.ha. ha. it! it's a very enjoyable read, if not as hair-raising as horror can be. i plan to check out more of this writer's books; if they are as well-crafted, it will be worth the time.

  • A Book Vacation
    2018-10-16 02:45

    If you’re looking for a good mystery, one that will chill you to the bone and keep you guessing through multiple twists and turns, then you need to read this novel! This story interweaves the lives of four people on a college campus, all in relation to Nicole, a young girl killed in a horrible car crash. Each chapter focuses on a different character within the novel—sometimes relaying events in the present, and sometimes relaying events from the past. This brilliant literary technique will keep you enraptured and glued to the pages. As events unfold, new information comes to light and, page by page, the story slowly begins to unravel. I thoroughly enjoyed the characterization, especially because the characters were as real as you and me. Kasischke does a wonderful job creating and developing them, and the twists and turns within the novel keep the reader wondering who these people really are. No one is what they seem, and this revelation is one of the reasons that the mystery within the novel is so captivating. New information continues to arise, causing the reader to reassess his/her thoughts and beliefs throughout the novel. While this is an adult novel, with mature themes, language, and sexuality, these aspects actually propel the story forward as we learn about the events leading up to, and after, the fatal car accident...To read my full review:

  • Chana
    2018-09-30 01:04

    If you don't already have a poor opinion of the Greek Frat and Sorority systems, this might make you take a second look at those systems. We all know the general problems of drinking, peer pressure and date rape that occur on our college campuses. Add to the general problems the problems of the Greek Houses; hazing, social ostracism for non-conformity, and (at least in this book) strange and secret rituals. You have all the makings of a cult, yet no one seems to take the problem seriously or even recognize it as a problem.Young man in first year of college; boisterous, often drunk and obnoxious, vulnerable. Young woman in college, member of sorority, falls in love with the young man, or does she? Young woman dies in car accident in which young man is driving. He is accused of being drunk when it happens; he himself cannot remember the accident. He goes back to college and is ostracized. He keeps thinking he sees his former girlfriend and even receives cards and phone calls from her. His roommate is deeply involved in the betrayals and deceptions, although the ultimate betrayal is a surprise to him as well. Things don't work out well. Many people didn't like the ending of the book but in a way I found it fitting; the drama ends and before you know it life has moved on and no one even remembers.

  • Erin
    2018-09-21 22:49

    The description on the back of this book makes it sound like a Christopher Pike/RL Stine teen horror novel. It bears some resemblance to those, but is a wordier, more adult version. While reading this book, I just couldn't decide what I thought of it. It held my attention until the frankly very sloppy end, but there was something off about it, even though it seemed like the usual type of book I dig. I think that Laura Kisischke does an amazing job of showing you how people really think, but there were some parts of this novel I didn't get...for example, why would Nicole pretend to be so virginal while being such a whore? did she actually like Craig or was she just using him to get to Perry? Also, I could have done without the violence towards Shelly's cat added nothing to the story except for shock value. animal cruelty, even fictional is extremely distateful to me and I really lost interest after that. The ending itself felt sloppy and made no sense. Why would Nicole pretend to be dead just to cover up another girl's death? Frankly, that's stupid...exactly how much was her family paid to go along with that? And Perry's death also didn't gel. I suppose the point of this novel is just how diabolical the type of people in sororities/power can truly be, but it didn't come across as believable to me.

  • Laura
    2018-10-05 00:05

    If you're looking for a spooky yet literary ghost story, Laura Kasischke's THE RAISING is your book. Kasischke creates a richly realized world of a college campus "haunted" by the ghost of a victim of a tragic accident. The storyline is fascinating and beautifully detailed. I particularly liked how the story unfolded through multiple characters' points of view and how these characters intersected each others' lives in surprising ways. The story grabbed me from the first page. The novel is paced briskly with many suspenseful turns, but Kasischke takes the time to create full lives and histories for each character so that the story becomes as much a study of courage, weakness, and morality as it is an old-fashioned ghost story. I've always been fascinated by traditional rituals surrounding death and mourning, so I was pleasantly surprised to find that the novel weaves this history into the storyline in unexpected ways. THE RAISING was my first "beach book" of this summer, a perfect blend of mood, mystery, and yes, some salacious stuff too...a literary treat, a thinking woman's ghost story.

  • Alexandra
    2018-09-27 22:02

    Wow. I'm really surprised at this book. The premise was interesting, and throughout the bulk of the story, I was glued to the pages. This was one of those books you keep reading even when you stand up to go turn a lamp on, and you just hope you don't trip over anything. There is no doubt that Laura Kasischke can tell a story. One thing she doesn't seem to be very good at though, is ending one. 461 pages is a pretty hefty book to get invested in, only to be let down with an ending like that. Just saying. What was the point of the story really? That sororities are full of crazy people? I'm just a little puzzled. So many great mysteries were thrown into the mix and then nothing even ended up being explained with them. I had been wanting to read this one for awhile and I have to say I am disappointed in a major way. I'll give one more of her books a try but that's probably it.

  • Jess
    2018-10-03 00:06

    A very interesting blurb and cover which caught my attention. The book, however, proved to be a disappointment. It started off, well enough but the plot was lost and it got really confusing. The end really was the worst as it basically faded away into nothing. All the mysteries had no answers and I remembered being very frustrated and irritated when I was finished. At the end I felt as if reading it had been a complete waste of time.It had lots of potential and had a good story line but as I said, the ending completely ruined it.I also disliked the way it was written. I would prefer the use of fullstops rather than a page long sentence with commas. I would recommend this book to teachers who want to give their students practice papers to edit. :)

  • Jessi Lyn
    2018-09-22 20:52

    MADDENING! This whole book, while well written, was just a big build up to NOTHING, no vindication, no justice, just the urge to hurl this book into the fire.

  • Poups
    2018-10-02 03:09

    L'auteure, aidée de son écriture particulièrement poétique, parvient, doucement mais sûrement, à nous emporter dans un univers sombre et macabre où se mêlent mort, sexe, drogue et sororités. Elle distille petit à petit de multiples indices qui passent certainement inaperçus à la première lecture mais le roman en mérite une seconde.On y découvre des personnages dont les différentes facettes ne finissent jamais de nous surprendre. C'est une histoire où il ne faut jamais se fier à sa première impression...Ce roman est aussi riche d'informations sur les rites et cultes autour de la mort, sur les coutumes des sororités, la vie sur un campus américain et les différences entre classes sociales.C'est un ouvrage dont les 300 dernières pages nous tiennent vraiment en haleine, où rien n'est ce qu'il paraît être, et même après avoir refermé ce livre, on ne sait ce qu'il devrait être...