Skip to main content

Book Review: The Raising by Laura Kasischke


College student Nicole Werner died in car accident. Her boyfriend, Craig, was driving but he wasn't charged with a crime. It was deemed an accident. Now a year later, Craig is back at the same college despite the objections of Nicole's sorority sisters. Shelly, the first witness at the accident scene, is also still living in the area. She has been trying for a year to get the newspapers to correct their inaccurate accounts of the accident, but has been unsuccessful. And Craig's roommate Perry, who has enrolled in a course about death, tells his professor he sees Nicole walking around on campus long after her death.

In The Raising, Laura Kasischke fluctuates between the past and present, revealing bits and pieces of the characters' lives before the accident, while also showing how each of them is dealing with Nicole's death. There is a shroud of mystery about what really happened at the accident site. Why do the newspapers report about Nicole's bloody body when Shelly, who witnessed the accident, didn't see any blood? And why does Perry think he's seeing Nicole walking around on campus?

While Kasischke examines the students involved with Nicole, she also tells the story of Shelly, the witness who finds herself in hot water when she gets involved with one of Nicole's former sorority sisters. And there's Mira, the professor who works with Perry to research Nicole's death, while in the midst of serious marital issues.

I read The Raising because it's my book club's June selection. I don't think I would have chosen to read it otherwise, and I have to say I did not enjoy it. While I liked the author's writing enough to possibly try another novel of hers in the future, I didn't like this story. It was quite honestly way too unrealistic for me. I'm not a big fan of books that get into supernatural ideas for the most part. And the fact that the police, school officials and even the FBI didn't manage to look into things more deeply seemed completely outlandish. Perhaps she shouldn't have mentioned the FBI and I may have been able to believe it. But that was a bit too much.

I also didn't care for any of the characters. Mira was probably the one I could identify with most as she's a mother but she was dealing with a lot of issues as the primary breadwinner in her home with a husband who was having a bit of a breakdown. Even with all this drama, I didn't feel a connection to her. Shelly was a more interesting character, but even her choices seemed a bit odd. And I certainly didn't feel anything for any of the college students in the story.

I do think this will make for an interesting discussion during book club about sororities, including hazing, school support and coverups of hazing, attitudes of sorority sisters, etc. I'll be interested to see if there's a difference in how people feel about the book based on whether they were in a sorority or not. I was not and couldn't identify with any of the sorority stuff going on. I agreed with Craig for the most part ~ I could never put up with all the sorority rituals and requirements!

Overall, I think many of the readers of this blog may actually enjoy this book, but it was definitely not for me.

My Rating 2/5

This review was written based on a copy of The Raising that I borrowed from the library.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Getting back to blogging

It seems that blogging has dropped to the bottom of my list for the past year, and was pretty low for the year or two prior to that. I love to read, and am continuing to do so, but as my regular readers know I haven't been around much. My last blog post was almost a year ago!!

There are many things that have taken me away from blogging. Work has been much more challenging and interesting these past few years, but that means I really don't want to get back on the computer when I get home at night - or on the weekends.

Family life has been more busy with kids having multiple activities in the evenings, leaving little time to just hang out and write about the books that I read.

I will admit to a bit of a Facebook addiction, which means way too much time spent scrolling through my newsfeed instead of doing something more productive. This is one of the things I'm working on and hoping that this will free up some time for getting back to the blog.

Overall, life is good. Work is …

Freedom to Read Giveaway Hop

I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and Mundie Moms are hosting the Freedom to Read Giveaway Hop in honor of Independence Day in the United States, and I've decided to participate.

To stick with the theme of Independence Day, I'm doing what I did last year for this hop:

I'm giving away a book of your choice that is written by an author from the United States.
It can be any genre as long as the author is from the United States. You choose the book (up to $15), and I'll order it and have it mailed to you from Book Depository.

The contest ends on Thursday, July 5th at midnight Eastern Time. The winner will be notified by e-mail. If they do not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn.

Happy 4th of July! I hope you have a safe and fun holiday!

Enter here:
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Now check out all of the other giveaways you can enter at the links below!

Freedom Giveaway Hop

Simply Stacie and I Am A Reader, Not A Writer are hosting the Freedom Giveaway Hop in honor of Independence Day in the United States, and I've decided to participate.

To stick with the theme of Independence Day:

I'm giving away a book of your choice that is written by an author from the United States.
It can be any genre as long as the author is from the United States. You choose the book (up to $15), and I'll order it and have it mailed to you from the vendor of my choice.

To enter, all you have to do is leave a comment below telling me your favorite U.S. author (this doesn't have to be the author of the book you choose if you're the winner). Include your email address so I can contact you if you win. This giveaway is open to U.S. and Canadian mailing addresses only. I've decided to open this up to international entries as long as Book Depository ships to your address.

For extra entries:
Leave a separate comment if you follow My Book Retreat through Google Frie…