"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 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." The back cover blurb was also intriguing - "...part Stephen King, part Donna Tartt..."
I enjoyed the opening chapters, but it took at least 100 pages for me to get totally interested. I picked up and put down The Raising many times before finally finishing. The narrative flips back and forth between present day and the past, allowing us further glimpses and clues into what may have happened to Nicole. This part of the plot was well done and caught my interest. Where I got bored was the character development of Mira and Shelly, the two professors pursuing answers in this campus death. Yes, their personal lives play parts in the endgame, but some extraneous details, such as Mira's twin's language skills breakthrough with a fellow prof seem useless. My thoughts on Nicole's friend Perry and her boyfriend Craig changed many times throughout the book. Kasischke does a good job of manipulating the reader`s expectations and keeping us off kilter as she reveals more and more about the death and the circumstances surrounding it. I did find the commentary on sororities and hazing thought provoking.
The last 100 pages had me turning more rapidly as the conclusion was nearing and I expected some answers and resolutions. However, that was not to be. The ending left me definitely unsatisfied. For me, The Raising was a read that was okay, but not great. (and never lived up to the Stephen King comparison) I always wait to read what others think of a book until after I've read it. For other opinions check out what these bloggers thought.
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