Thursday, March 24, 2011
The Raising is a book by Laura Kasischke is a story about a middle America college campus under a cloud of mystery. The mystery centers around an automobile accident where a female student is thrown from a car. Conflicting stories between a witness and newspaper accounts of the accident begin the story.
The story centers around 5 key characters.
Nicole: The coed who dies in the car accident. She is portrayed as the sweet, innocent, and chaste girlfriend of Craig. But things aren't always as they appear.
Craig: Nicole's boyfriend and driver of the vehicle in the fateful crash. He is the spoiled, rich man on campus. He comes away from the accident with no recollection of what happened. Although cleared of all charges, he is taunted as a murderer on campus.
Perry: Craig's roommate. He also grew up with Nicole. He is one of the first people to discover that there is something amiss with Nicole's death. And what was his relationship with Nicole?
Shelley: An art professor at the college. She happens to be the first on the scene of the car accident.
Mira: A professor of Anthropology. She helps Perry explore the questions he has surrounding the death of Nicole.
There are other players in the story. I am not sure that they really add to the story. I believe the author should have used less energy in developing these characters as they really have nothing to do with the story. At the end of the book I questioned what was the point of detailing Mira's family life, Shelly's sex life, Perry's ex girlfriend, or the divorce of Craig's parents.
The plot of the story was very enjoyable. The writing was superb. Kasischke grabbed my interest right at the beginning and never let go till the end of the book. That is where the story fell flat for me. As with any mystery, the reader wants to try to figure out 'whodunit'. I got so wrapped up in the who and why of each character development, searching for their part in the story. In the end, I was left with questions. The ending disappointed me. It seemed thrown together. It didn't have the details that were flowing abundantly throughout the book.
I would recommend this book as Kasischke is truly a gifted writer. This is the first of her books that I have read. I want to read more. A warning: there are parts of the story that are quite raunchy. Otherwise, I give this book 4 stars.
Paperback: 496 pages
Publisher: Harper Perennial; Original edition (March 15, 2011)
Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 3.2 x 1.5 inches