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Something Rising

3.6  ·  Rating details ·  1,265 Ratings  ·  172 Reviews
In her first two books, Haven Kimmel claimed her spot on the literary scene- surprising readers with her memoir, A Girl Named Zippy, and winning an outpouring of critical acclaim for her first novel, The Solace of Leaving Early. Now, in her second novel, she brings to the page a heroine's tireless quest for truth, love, justice, and the perfect game of 9-ball.

Cassie Claibo
ebook, 288 pages
Published May 11th 2010 by Free Press (first published December 22nd 2003)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Taylor Weaver
Sep 16, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've begun to notice that for a lot of readers, Haven Kimmel novels are a little bit difficult to digest. I agree that sometimes her books are written in a style similar to Jack Kerouac's free-flowing form. And while it does sometimes seem that Kimmel's writing lacks specific direction, I feel that it's because of this characteristic that her books are so easy to read. Each sentence doesn't seem calculated and tailored like in most pop fiction pieces, but rather, enters the bloodstream naturally ...more
Feb 02, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literary_fiction
While I liked some aspects of this story and in some way could be swept along with the plot, it disturbs me that the author sets up so many dichotomies with her characters, basically along gender lines: bad man (father who gambles and abandons family) versus saintly man (family friend who's always there and never seems to get angry or make a mistake); rebellious young woman (daughter who makes a living playing pool) versus "good daughter/girl/female" archetype (at an extreme--the rebellious woma ...more
Theryn Fleming
Something Rising teeters on the brink of being brilliant, but never quite makes it there. The writing is great (I suspect if I read an excerpt, I'd give it a higher rating than I would the whole book), so much so that I find myself wanting to like the story more than I do. But if I'm honest with myself, this ends up in the "liked but did not love" pile. The biggest problem is that I have no idea what Cassie wants. She plays pool and does day labor and has never filed a tax return. Ok. But what d ...more
Gita Upreti
Haven Kimmel's writing really is splendid, but I've followed her characters from "The Solace of Leaving Early" to this one, and I think the discovery of a common theme (perhaps cleverly hidden?) distressed me more than it pleased me. Each of these novels' denouement is quick but hard-won, requiring ages of plot and character development that felt tedious to me at times. This is just probably a stage in her development as a writer that she needs to pass through, but it was surprising to encounter ...more
Jan 28, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Something Rising is about a woman named Cassie Claibourne. The book starts off with Cassie as a child. Right away readers realize she's from a dysfunctional family. Her dad is married to their mother but he is constantly leaving to play pool in different states or he is with his other woman. Her mother is depressed. And her sister, while a talented writer is a paranoid schizophrenic. Cassie adores her father but as she grows up her disappointments turn her into a tough, angry teenager and woman. ...more
Sep 29, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was pretty disappointed in this book, especially after reading (and loving) A Girl Named Zippy and She Got Up Off the Couch. There didn't seem to be much of a story line in Something Rising, and what was there was very disconnected and a little confusing. The characters were unappealing and evoked little or no sympathy in me.

Kimmel sets up a bit of a mystery with the character Thomas, but we meet him only very briefly, and nothing more is said about him (although we assume that Cassie return
Renee Wolcott
Jun 23, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Somehow, Haven Kimmel's books are more intellectually than emotionally satisfying for me. They're like some bizarre puzzle, and the characters' feelings for each other are often mysterious. They seem to be following some preordained path, with attractions that work like magnetic fields rather than our usual emotional responses. I'm not sure I always believe what I read here, but if my mind isn't convinced, it's at least intrigued.
This is not my favorite Haven Kimmel book, but it was okay. I am not into pool, and that was important to the story. I like the way this author develops characters. I would have given it a higher rating, but the end seemed contrived. The author probably knew where she was going, but I did not care for the last couple chapters.
I enjoy the way Haven Kimmel constructs dialogue but this book fell off for me in the last third.
De Ann
Jul 31, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I give this one 3.5 stars, my first read by Haven Kimmel. Interesting characters that I became more invested in as the story progressed.
Jenn Weaver
Jun 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an absolutely gorgeous book. Beginning to end.
Jun 05, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked this book but I think reading Haven Kimmel's A Girl Named Zippy , and She Got Up Off the Couch give this book more of a grounded feeling. I'm not sure if these were suppose to be a trilogy as Zippy & She Got Up were autobiographical, while Something Rising is 'fiction', but Something Rising reads better as the third book.

The story takes place primarily in rural Indiana, a place where girls were girls and men were men. The story is told from Cassie's point of a view, a girl wh
Colleen Toporek
Haven Kimmel, how I love her. I want to give this book four stars but it kind of lost me in the last third. The beginning is amazing, though. The main character is a pool-playing tomboy who is nearly fearless. The description of how she plays her no-good drunk of a father for his most precious possession, a work-of-art pool cue, is one of the finest revenge fantasies I have ever encountered. Sweet. Also Haven Kimmel is hilarious. If you haven't read The Solace of Leaving Early, you should check ...more
Sep 05, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of tomboys, character development and pool sharks
i really like this, but am due for a re-read, because I can't remember exactly what i liked about it, just that i did like it...
[update]: oh good lord - claire and i saw haven kimmel read last night, which was glorious. I have a total girl-crush on anyone who talk about the eschatology of john ashcroft one minute, and the next minute tell a hilarious anecdote about being on the morning show and trying to make katie couric look smart. which brings me to this book (which is now autographed "To Cat
This is on the NC shelf bc Kimmel lives in Durham :).

Ok - something about the way she writes her novels (but NOT her memoirs) make her a bit inaccessible - I feel REALLY dumb sometimes, like I'm WAY not picking up on some undercurrent or innuendo or something...It's frustrating, and I feel as though I'm not enjoying her novels as much as I COULD if I were, say...understanding what she's getting at.

This one was pretty bleak, although Cassie's anger was AWESOME, and she is our generation's TOWAND
Jennie Menke
This book. THIS book is a disappointment. Disjointed. Confusing. Dark. If I didn't know it for sure, I'd say it was impossible -- impossible! -- that it was written by the same author as The Solace of Leaving Early (and Zippy, obviously). Oh well, you win some, you lose some. What absolutely blows me away is that they have almost identical ratings. Which only goes to show you: 1) everyone is different and 2) we shouldn't be so beholden to the ratings.

I'll hang in there and check back when I am
Bookmarks Magazine

Kimmel developed a diverse fan club after the success of her smart, funny, and best-selling memoir, A Girl Named Zippy, and her poignant novel, The Solace of Leaving Early. In Something Rising, Kimmel both varies and adheres to these forms, chronicling the everyday events and dramas of a determined young woman living in a small town and aching for another life. Critics praise Kimmel's complex, unsentimental style and convincing plot. The rather slow pace in the middle detracts slightly from this

Karlyne Landrum
I give this three stars, because I did finish it and parts of it were brilliant. But, I found the consistent run-on sentences distracting, they bugged me. (See? Isn't that annoying?) Cassie's life is interesting, but somehow, even in all of the detail and description of her life, she stays elusive and cold and not accessible. The neat and tidy winding up of the plot seems to say that she's on her way to becoming a real, feeling, giving person, but it doesn't ring true with me.

Is that what the p
May 11, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Katie Buehner
I was very excited to finally read the second in the "trilogy" by Haven Kimmel.(The first book, The Solace of Leaving Early.) Every character feels raw to me. (Is that the right way to put it?) Since the books are loosely related, I was eager to see how she would tie them together. I did not know if there would be a common theme, or if the setting, small town Indiana, would be the common trait, or if the characters would be. All three are interwoven, but I do not want to give anything away.
Apr 17, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3/30/07 - Read the audiobook version of this, since I knew I'd get to it sooner that way. Although I'm sure there was supposed to be some sort of deep meaning in this novel, it really didn't do it for me. Living in Indiana myself (which is the setting of the majority of the book), I was both interested & somewhat disgusted by the references to the way of life characterized in the book. I would hope that readers wouldn't assume that all Hoosiers live the way that Cassie & her friends/fami ...more
Sep 28, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novel
I'm still pondering the name - the phrase appears once, in what is clearly an important/mythic scene, and I'm trying to relate it to the book as a whole. I was not as impressed with the first 100 pages or so as I had hoped, although I definitely still wanted to continue reading. Her first novel, The Solace of Leaving Early (which I loved), was less grounded, more magical (in the sense of magical realism). Although this got downright mystical at times. My conclusion, at least for now, is that she ...more
Aug 05, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: midwest, religion
This book is Kimmel's attempt at the standard coming-of-age-in-a-dysfunctional-family trope, but even here she twists it almost unrecognizably. It begins fairly typically but strays further & further from the mold as it goes along. Like The Solace of Leaving Early, which I admired, this book is set in rural central Indiana, but whereas that one focused on an intellectual elite, this one is about more stereotypical rural Hoosiers who live apparently meaningless lives in a trailer. (But, of co ...more
Jan 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I picked this book up because I'm occasionally shallow and the girl on the cover is very appealing. I had limited hopes for it; I mean, after all, I've been burned by many a cover! All I have to say is...

Holy Cow! I read it on a Tuesday. Re-read it on Wednesday. Put it down and walked away. Read it AGAIN on Saturday. I'm a frequent re-reader, a well-known book is like coffee with an old friend but this was like a bolt of passion out of the blue, a torrid affair, chance meeting and instant desire
May 22, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Most anyone, but read "The Solace of Leaving Early" first.
Havel Kimmel is one of those writers who can paint a picture in two sentences and can get to the core of human experience in the course of a plot that is almost ordinary. In a story set in rural Indiana, at that.

Like her other books, both fiction and memoir,"Something Rising" is the story of a girl who lives just outside the limits of normalcy. Like many good novels it addresses how families are both a creative and destructive force, the loss that is always tied up in loving, and the lies people
Cathy Day
This book is about all the things that conspire to keep us rooted in one place--the needs of our family, our friends, our community--and what it takes to truly live a life on your own terms. Especially if you a woman. Especially if you're from rural or small-town Indiana. The discussion of the "woman chipper" of female life, oh my, this alone is worth the sticker price. If you read Zippy and wondered what that book would have been like if not for the insistently cheerful child's point of view, i ...more
Abigail M.
Dec 04, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Haven Kimmel's characters' minds are always so infinite that I feel like a small, petty person after finishing. I come out of reading her stories as though I've read a religious text. Converted, restarted, motivated to be better and to love greater.

She starts at the beginning and parcels out truths and moments slowly, patiently, carefully such that the reader is strung along, growing along, wishing along, until the book ends and the reader feels a relief for the characters, a celebration, and a
Starr Phoenix
I wanted this book to be better. I absolutely loved her first two books - A Girl Named Zippy and She Got Up Off The Couch - but those were memoirs of her childhood and were hysterical. This novel is a much darker staging of small town life. I didn't feel like I ever connected to the characters enough to care what was happening to them. And if that doesn't happen early in, I find myself reading like it's homework. I tend to finish books unless they are just so bad or boring that I truly can't do ...more
Karin Mitchell
Dec 11, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: women-s
Cassie, the main character, managed to develop or rather emerge over time without really changing. Her personality was unmovable, yet as a character she was not remotely boring or static. I love the irony that Cassie, full name Cassiopeia, and her sister Belle hate the naming of the stars and spend their time looking at them like clouds finding their own constellations. The characters are similarly dully located and titled while remaking their own names and places matter of factly into something ...more
Aug 18, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I adored Haven Kimmel’s autobiographical works (A Girl Named Zippy and She Got Up Off the Couch), so I was interested to read her fiction. I found an advance reading edition of Something Rising at a used book store a few years ago, and finally settled down to read it. And guess what – it reads exactly like a book written by the little girl who grew up in the other two books. Sort of a fictionalized wish fulfillment for little Zippy, where she grows up to take care of her family. I’m glad I read ...more
Dec 08, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Bud leaned in close, tapped her chest with his finger. "You bring your history into this, he'll beat you. Because you feel it and he doesn't."

"And then there were men who were violently afraid of losing to a woman, the scariest men in the world. They become dictators, heads of state, bureaucrats, men with deadly weapons, they were everywhere. Sometimes she could pick one out with a look, but they were often charming, they had to have the power in order to dominate."

Cassie is cool. I like that.
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Haven Kimmel was born in New Castle, Indiana, and was raised in Mooreland, Indiana, the focus of her bestselling memoir, A Girl Named Zippy: Growing up Small in Mooreland, Indiana .

Kimmel earned her undergraduate degree in English and creative writing from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana and a graduate degree from North Carolina State University, where she studied with novelist Lee Smith.
More about Haven Kimmel...

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“women live the lie from birth on, and then one day they realize that it's too late for them, they're too old to write a book or solve a difficult problem in math, they'll never learn to sing or play the piano, they showed such promise early on. so they run to the priest, their voices take on a hysterical edge, like the one mine has right now, and the priest tells them they have lived righteously and their reward will be in heaven, and he could certainly use someone in the kitchen for the potluck on Sunday night. ” 6 likes
“...every beautiful and strange event made more poignant for having been photographed.” 4 likes
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