cover image The Raising

The Raising

Laura Kasischke, Harper Perennial, $14.99 trade paper (496p) ISBN 978-0-06-200478-9

Kasischke (In a Perfect World) delivers a satisfying if predictable campus novel that's both gothic romance and coming-of-age tale. A year after sorority girl Nicole Werner died in a car accident, Nicole's boyfriend, Craig Clements-Rabbitt, who was driving, is trying to put his life together. When snobbish sophisticate Craig had arrived from New Hampshire at Godwin Honors Hall—a selective college within a huge Midwestern university—he soon got on the nerves of his more down-to-earth roommate, Perry Edwards, and Perry's childhood schoolmate, the beautiful Nicole. Now, Craig is a sober soul, but Nicole's former sorority sisters are unwilling to let her "murderer" be. Meanwhile, Shelly Lockes, the first witness at the accident scene, is hounded out of town, and Mira Polson, a professor of anthropology who looks too closely at Nicole's death, is forced to resign. Students commit suicide or are "accidentally" shot dead. If the narrative is convoluted, so is the diabolical, if improbable, scheme hatched by the sisters of Omega Theta Tau. Big Sister, apparently, watches over us all. (Mar.)