Tuesday, 3 September 2013

The Returned

The Returned
By Jason Mott

Summery courtesy of goodreads.com
Jacob was time out of sync, time more perfect than it had been. He was life the way it was supposed to be all those years ago. That's what all the Returned were.

Harold and Lucille Hargrave's lives have been both joyful and sorrowful in the decades since their only son, Jacob, died tragically at his eighth birthday party in 1966. In their old age they've settled comfortably into life without him, their wounds tempered through the grace of time ... Until one day Jacob mysteriously appears on their doorstep—flesh and blood, their sweet, precocious child, still eight years old.

All over the world people's loved ones are returning from beyond. No one knows how or why this is happening, whether it's a miracle or a sign of the end. Not even Harold and Lucille can agree on whether the boy is real or a wondrous imitation, but one thing they know for sure: he's their son. As chaos erupts around the globe, the newly reunited Hargrave family finds itself at the center of a community on the brink of collapse, forced to navigate a mysterious new reality and a conflict that threatens to unravel the very meaning of what it is to be human.

With spare, elegant prose and searing emotional depth, award-winning poet Jason Mott explores timeless questions of faith and morality, love and responsibility. A spellbinding and stunning debut, The Returned is an unforgettable story that marks the arrival of an important new voice in contemporary fiction.


This book is brilliant, It is hard to believe this is Jason Mott's first novel! From the first page I was amazed and excited by the concept. What would happen if the dead suddenly woke up and returned to their homes, and how would society react.

Not everyone welcomes the returned. In fact many find that "Death was the beginning of the reunion you did not know you wanted." It appears most the returned are dead snatched from life too soon, but all have returned with years intervening.

Family and friends suddenly find themselves reunited with dead loved ones. There are unanswered numerous questions and emotions that need to be expressed. Hugs to be given and closure to be found.

Arcadia is a small isolated town where the government are trialing an initiative they think might help with The Returned. In an unused schoolhouse they house The Returned. Over crowded and ill equipped to house so many people conditions soon turn it an inhospitable place. There isn't enough beds people are sleeping on the floor and outside and the sanitary conditions were unacceptable.

I can't tell you anymore because of spoilers but it was a thought provoking gritty read and one that I would highly recommend.
4.5 Star

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