Laura Kasischke: The Raising
University until the death of a student changes everything. Blond, beautiful
and successful, sorority girl Nicole Warner is the epitome of a good college
Craig, Nicole’s boyfriend, is behind the wheel when an accident claims her
life. A year later, everyone on campus is still blaming him for her death. The
problem is he has no recollection of what happened that dreadful night.
Perry Edwards is Nicole’s high-school best friend and Craig’s roommate. Having seen Nicole’s apparition several times
on campus, he signs up for a class on death, dying and the undead given by Mira
Polson. Questioning his own sanity and trying to figure out what really happened
to Nicole, he recruits Mira on his quest for the truth.
Another significant character is Shelly Lockes, a music teacher at the
university. She is the first to arrive at the scene of the accident and is the
only eyewitness. She can’t fathom why no one is listening to her account of
what really happened.
The author spends the first few chapters of The Raising acquainting the
reader with the characters. Although the story is at first rather slow-paced, you’ll
end up with a profound understanding of the characters; their detailed description
transforms them from just figures on paper to real personalities.
Not only does the novel show how the loss of a close friend has shaken the
characters to their cores, but it also deals with the inevitability of death. It
makes readers question everything they thought they knew about death and the afterlife.
The Raising is an eerie read with
a lot of suspenseful twists. It’s the kind of story that will keep you guessing
till the very end. It’s dark and mysterious, but as the story progresses and secrets
are revealed, the reader eventually comes into the light.
Kasischke has a way of engaging her
readers. Her ripe imagination and vivid writing can give you goose bumps. The
Raising is definitely not a light read; it requires a lot of your
concentration, and that patience pays dividends with a terrific story.
Although on the surface it might seem that The Raising is your
run-of-the-mill ghost tale, it’s the kind of novel that is not easily
forgotten. Once you’ve put it down, you’ll be thinking about it for quite a
while afterwards. Hopefully, not in your nightmares though.