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Craig is returning to university, where he is widely viewed as being responsible for the death of his girlfriend Nicole, in a road accident. Suffering from post-traumatic stress and memory loss as a result of the accident, Craig is an obvious candidate to fall victim to the hauntings that start to occur around the campus. But it's not just Craig who is seeing inexplicable things happen at the university.

The Raising by Laura Kasischke

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Category: General Fiction
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Susmita Chatto
Reviewed by Susmita Chatto
Summary: A supernatural story that explores death and our attitudes towards it, using beautifully crafted characters and an engaging narrative style.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 461 Date: July 2011
Publisher: Atlantic Books
ISBN: 978-0857891549

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Craig's friend Perry grew up in Nicole's home town. Perhaps it's only natural that he too, will be haunted by visions of a girl he saw nearly every day of his life while growing up. His approach to the problem is an intellectual one; he takes a class on Death, dying and the Undead to shed light on the matter. The class is taught by Professor Mira Polson, who is accustomed to her class attracting students for all kinds of macabre reasons. But Mira feels instinctively from the outset that Perry is different, and that his reasons for taking the class are painfully real.

And Shelly, the only eyewitness to the accident, who is struggling to get anyone to take an interest in her account, discovers through a painful emotional episode that her whole life has been turned upside down by the death of someone she didn't even know.

The story is beautifully paced and arranged, weaving from the days of Nicole's life to the time after her death very smoothly, and arranging the tale so the story surges forward in unstoppable fashion. In spite of the size of the book, no word is wasted; with a great talent for description, character and storytelling, Kasischke transports the reader into this world with impressive ease. Her lush descriptions give the novel a filmic quality; her attention to detail with the emotions of the characters help to make the novel a real-page turner.

Very late in the novel, a point approached where I almost predicted a predictable ending. I was wrong; but the book was so enjoyable to read that had it happened, it may not have mattered!

Kasischke's classy tale provides an ending that might seem tentative, even inconclusive at first, but after considering the teaching's of Mira's class, ultimately makes perfect sense.

Many thanks to the publishers for sending this to Bookbag.


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