The Returned by Jason Mott
Date Read: March 2014
Genre: General Fiction
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.
Publisher: Harlequin HQN
Read for Review
Overall Rating 3.25
Story Rating 3.25
Character Rating 3.25
First Thought when Finished: I think The Returned by Jason Mott will make an excellent TV Series. However the book was choppy and could have been flushed out more.
Story Thoughts:I wanted to love this story. The premise reminded me a lot of The 4400 which I loved. However, while I think the writing was brilliant the story just fell short for me. I can’t really give to much away but let me just say that I didn’t feel the end was organic to the story. I also felt that the “purpose” was not really answered to a place I felt fulfilled.
Character Thoughts: Some characters I loved and thought were executed with brilliance. Other characters were lacking depth and cardboard cutouts of the role they filled. I love stories that have an ensemble of characters but this one just did not quite give me enough. However, those flashes of brilliant character development were enough to keep the story going for me.
Final Thoughts: Oddly enough reading the book makes me want to watch the TV Show. I think where the book didn’t work for me, the show will.