Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Raising - Laura Kasischke

Here's the publisher's description of Laura Kasischke's new book The Raising.

"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.

Good Choice Reading
Life in the Thumb
Red Headed Book Child
The Literate Housewife
Life With Books


avisannschild said...

I can't say that the premise interested me that much to begin with, but after reading your review (as well as Staci's and Jenners'), I'm definitely passing on this book!

bermudaonion said...

I don't like it when it takes me that long to get into a book, so I'll probably skip this one.

Reeder Reads said...

I find sometimes that when character development takes too long, the author loses touch with the reader... Thanks for being honest!

E A Morgan said...

One review stated that this book did not drag...oh but it did. And really that was not much suspense at all. It was dark with not one note of bright. A waste of time I will never pick up one of her books again. Written to be made into a dark movie not to be a good read.

E A Morgan said...

Slow slow slow. It did drag and there was no suspense at all. It was dark with not one bright note and maybe like two pretty sentences as most. It was a book written to be made into a movie. I will not waste my reading time more with this writer.