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Raising John

3.6  ·  Rating Details ·  330 Ratings  ·  51 Reviews
How do you go on living when you have done the unforgivable? Robert Lewis isn’t surprised to wake up in the drunk tank. He assumes that, as usual, he’ll sleep it off, then return to the routine of golf games, broker meetings, symphony dates and nightcaps that make up his life.

Then his lawyer delivers the news: Robert is responsible for an accident that has killed a young
ebook, 3, 236 pages
Published June 18th 2016 by Cavu Press (first published January 17th 2014)
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May 05, 2014 Abigail rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The first narrator in this story is a young girl in an abusive family and the other (in a jump in time) is her orphaned son. The book covers some pretty deep themes such as emotional abuse and alcoholism, but this is done seamlessly through the characters who are engaging and complex. The book had me thinking about the characters for many days after I finished. They felt real enough to continue worrying about them after I was done! This was a highly engaging read that I highly recommend.
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Mar 12, 2014 Teddy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2014
This book had me right from the beginning. Mary is in her last year of high school and can hardly wait to move away from home to go to college. Her father is an alcoholic and her mother doesn't seem motivated to anything about his abusive behaviour. She earns a full scholarship to university. Incidents happened to Mary in college that kept me up the night I read about them. However, she was able to move on and graduated and even went through a doctorate program.

One day she called her mother to t
May 27, 2014 Kim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A heartbreaking story of abuse, addiction and loss. I learned that being in an abusive relationship numbs you to where you don't recognize the abuse as abuse any more. That explains why so many women stay. This story is the struggle of this addictive abuse and how a family recovers.
Mar 24, 2014 Stacie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2014
RAISING JOHN is a story of love, devotion, heartbreak, betrayal, forgiveness, and redemption. We first meet John as a four-year old boy trying to understand why he doesn't have a mommy and just a Grammy. Then we are introduced to Robert who wakes up in a drunk tank with no memory of what he just did and why he needs to post $100,000 bail. He will soon find out he was the drunk driver who killed a young mother, named Mary.

The story begins with Mary as a young child being raised by her parents in
Carole Rae
Apr 17, 2014 Carole Rae rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Like earlier stated I was given this book for my honest and unbiased opinion from the publisher/author.

Wow. Just wow. I am stunned by how much I liked it. I absolutely loved it. I finished this in one day. That hasn't happened in a while. It was a simple read and quick read, but man it was a good read. The writing wasnt overly done and anyone can read this. I loved how the author wrote this.

Even though there were four POVs it worked. You knew when the POV would change (at each chapter with a PO
May 04, 2014 Barbara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am giving this 5 stars, because, even though the ending was up-in-the-air, it kept my interest so much I read it in about 24 hours. The beginning was a little difficult because it went so far back and the title was 'raising JOHN' and it took a while for John to become prominent in the book. But it still intrigued me so I kept going. Then it all fits together....John's mother and his grandparents and how they all arrived at the point where John became an orphan. And then growing up with the ...more
May 26, 2014 Sandy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the kind of book that makes me wish I could write. It captured me from the very start and kept moving at a good pace. Great character development, I really did not want it to end I became so involved in the characters. And the story was written in such a way that you found yourself having many different emotions and feelings toward each of the characters. I'd love to find another book by this author.
Liz Wood
May 28, 2014 Liz Wood rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
good read

Jennifer Lesher has produced an excellent book with interesting characters and an enjoyable plot. I appreciated the story of domestic violence, but do feel that more could have been done with the intensity of fear and denial that pervades such situations. The sense of worthlessness is absolutely paralyzing, and makes it so very difficult to break free.
Trina Houston-dotson
The ending sucked, it just...stopped. Maybe there's a second part? However, I loved the book, absolutely loved it! Original storyline, real people with real problems. Yes, I would recommend reading the book, but I wish the author would finish the book!
May 09, 2014 Mariana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked this book. The story had me intrigued until it ended very abruptly. It felt like there is a chapter missing.
Janet S. Hatley

I was disappointed with the ending. Too many parts of the story left unfinished. I couldn't believe how ended I wanted closure
Sonja Randall
May 30, 2014 Sonja Randall rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Secrets hurt more when the silence is broken by a person who wants to hurt... There is good in all of us - sometimes a tragedy is the only way to bring that good to the surface.
Jun 09, 2014 Corissa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked the story, but I thought yhe ending was abrupt.
I will post my full review of this book here at a later date. Please stay tuned!
Lynn Bear-jones
May 11, 2014 Lynn Bear-jones rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really like this book felt sad in some parts of it.
Apr 27, 2014 Sara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ended very abruptly.. but very engrossing.
Mar 21, 2014 Becca rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After Barbara has her daughter, Mary, she is ecstatic and all of her energies go into taking care of her. Her husband, however, begins to trun to a more violent self and he begins to drink a lot. As I am reading the story all I can think is how this can lead to no good, and it doesn’t. He becomes violent towards Mary and Barbara and all Mary wants is a way out of this nightmare. She finally has her chance when she heads off to go to university and she never has to see her abusive father again. ...more
Teena in Toronto
Mar 17, 2014 Teena in Toronto rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This story really starts back in 1968 when Barbara discovers she is pregnant with Mary. She's excited to tell her husband the news. Over the years, though, as Barbara's priorities shift also to raising Mary, her husband becomes very bitter and violent. He drinks a lot and abuses Barbara and Mary. Mary can't wait to leave ... once she goes away to university, she never sees her father again. In time, Mary becomes pregnant with John and decides to raise him as a single mother. Tragedy strikes when ...more
Sara Miller
Jan 08, 2016 Sara Miller rated it really liked it
This story follows a group of people both before and after a tramautic event. We see the aftermath of poor decision making (not only the decisions that lead up to a young mother's death but all the decisions her family had made before hand) the switching between present and past took me a while to get used to because you would get times where it was one chapter in the past then 3 in the present and then maybe 2 in the past and 1 in the present. At some points it made me feel like I was just ...more
Wanda Hartzenberg
Jun 07, 2016 Wanda Hartzenberg rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016
This is a tough read and this is a tough review.
The subject matter is one you explore and unfold like an onion. You want to cry but only a tear or two escapes as you get to the heart of the matter. I loved this but... And this is a big one you are expected to jump from pov to pov to pov over and over back and forward in time. This drove me nuts and almost made me put down the book.

Then John turns into a right little sh!t&. And we are all expected to understand him, his reasoning, yes, far
Victoria Brinius
This book reminded me of how precious life is and how your loved ones are usually the ones you hurt the most. It also reminded me that you should never take your loved ones for granted. I liked that the author talked about Mary's life and not just her death. I was hit by two drunk drivers, six months apart and I applaud this author for talking about how people are negatively affected by drivers that get intoxicated and then get behind the wheel. The author also pulled the reader in and I felt ...more
Joanne B
Nov 15, 2014 Joanne B rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A must read! Book is well written, and definitely a tug on the emotions. My heart went out for the characters in this book struggling with alcoholism, domestic violence, emotional abuse, guilt, and the consequences of one's behavior. WOW a lot going on with all of the characters! This book really made an impact on me with the realization of how much strength is needed to deal with these issues. This probably is one of the best books I have ever read. The ending was a bit odd, however,the way it ...more
Nov 14, 2014 Rosie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is going to be a hard book to give you a true sense of, absolutely nothing should be given away before you read it. There is so much to this story of the life of three generations of a family. Trust me, if you like real life drama, this one is for you. I will say that it is one of the most poignant stories of surviving life with an alcoholic husband/father/grandfather that I have ever read. If you have ever lived around alcoholism in your family, you are going to see yourself in the pages ...more
I wanted this book to end differently. I worked in Child Welfare, and I read case histories showing abuse generations after generations. Even knowing this, I wanted this story to have the people all make improvements, and forgive each other. When the daughter went off to college, I kept yelling inside, don't do it. Don't go with that man. I wanted the mother to leave her husband, early in the story. The story bounced around in time. We learned of the daughter's death in an accident, and her son ...more
Feb 11, 2014 Anne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really good book - moving, funny, and well written. The tale features fully realized characters in all of their beautiful, flawed humanity who grapple with difficult issues and circumstances. We see different perspectives and sides of the key event that precipitates the story, as each character's life is affected in different ways. Their individual experiences and trajectories weave together into a compelling story, and the writing propelled me forward to keep uncovering the different layers and ...more
Sara Freitag
I think it was good. A few things bothered me. 1. The language in the 2nd part of the book. I get it, that is how some kids talks, but I just personally hate the F-word. I just wish it could have been left out. And then end????? It just ended there was no resolve for me, nothing. I am hoping there is a sequel to wrap it up, if not then it was just a really bad way to end the book in my opinion. BUT the story was good and for the most part I did enjoy it.
Jul 30, 2014 Wendy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked this book and was sure I was going to give it 4 stars.... Until I reached the last few chapters. I was surprised Teri wasn't in the picture anymore, I really didn't like the swearing, all the abbreviations and then the last page...That was it... Did Robert really have the last word? So disappointed with the end.
I loved he beginning of the story about half way through the book the language was so terrible I kept cringing every Tim another f*word was dropped in varying forms. Jennifer Lesher is a fantastic writer if you can get past those kinds of words. I am leery to read another of her books for this reason and also because raising John left off feeling unfinished... maybe it was intended to be a sequel
Apr 25, 2015 Littleowl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
The beginning was too slow and the end too abrupt. The first half of the book is not about raising John but tells the past events before his birth. Overall it is an interesting story but the title should be different.
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About that ending, and a sequel 1 8 May 09, 2014 03:39PM  
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Jennifer Lesher is an author, blogger, mountain biker, travel junkie, non-sufferer of fools, aspiring airplane mechanic, and graduate of the School of Hard Knocks.

She is the author of the "Modern Love?" series of Kindle short stories and the novel Raising John.

Recently Jennifer effected a career change, leaving her job in the high-tech industry to pursue certification as an airplane mechanic. She
More about Jennifer Lesher...

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“Isn’t everyone angry? If they’re not, they should be,” Robert said. “Not like you. You’re a fucking rageaholic. You don’t have to be, you know.” Robert saw a glimmer of something. Ted had lots to be angry about, but he was calm. “What about you? Weren’t you ever angry?” Ted nodded. “Yes, I spent the first forty-four years of my life in a rage.” “What changed? You’re not like that now.” “I realized that it was killing me, almost literally, but surely figuratively. Anger is an addiction, just like all those other things we do.” “That’s crazy. Anger isn’t a substance. You can’t be addicted to it.” “You just keep telling yourself that, Bob.” Ted’s use of the diminutive jarred Robert. For a moment he felt a swell of rage and wanted to punch Ted. But Ted just stood there, calmly, not quite smiling, but relaxed. The urge to hit him deflated. “Okay, so supposing that, as you say, I am addicted to anger? What do you mean?” “It’s the same thing as being addicted to booze, or blow. When you’re angry, you don’t have to see the sadness in your kid’s face or hear your wife sighing as she thinks about what a mistake it was to marry you. When you’re angry it consumes everything, just like the booze did for you or the coke did for me.” Robert had the sense of a door cracking open, and just for a moment, a tantalizing vista beyond. “So . . . how did you get past it? What is it like to be . . . calm?” “What is it like? It’s fucking peaceful is what it is. It’s like leaving stormy seas and coming into a safe harbor. The noise is gone. The red haze is gone. Even though my wife left me, she was the catalyst. A while after she remarried she came to visit, to give us both closure, I guess. I saw something in her I barely recognized. After all the crap I did to her, she wasn’t angry; she was just happy to be on to a new life. We had fed each other’s rage but now she was happy. It completely threw me, but it made me think. “It was hard, because once I stopped being angry I had to learn new habits and I had to face up to everything my rage destroyed.” “So . . . why did you do it? It sounds painful.” “It is painful, but listen, you stupid fuck. Just because it’s painful doesn’t mean it’s not worth doing. Yes, it was hard. It hurt to own up to what I had done to my wife and child. The reward is that I’m alive now in a way I couldn’t be when I was doing coke and angry all the time.” 0 likes
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