“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.
“In his exceptional debut novel, poet Mott brings drama, pathos, joy, horror, and redemption to a riveting tale…” – Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
About the Author
Jason Mott lives in southeastern North Carolina. He has a BFA in Fiction and an MFA in Poetry, both from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. His poetry and fiction has appeared in various journals such as Prick of the Spindle , The Thomas Wolfe Review , The Kakalak Anthology of Carolina Poets , Measure and Chautauqua . He was nominated for a 2009 Pushcart Prize award.
He is the author of two poetry collections: We Call This Thing Between Us Love and “…hide behind me…” The Returned is his first novel.
The Returned has also been optioned by Brad Pitt’s production company, Plan B, in association with Brillstein Entertainment and ABC. It will air on the ABC network this fall under the title “Resurrection”.
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Comments about The Returned:
I saw the preview and waited patiently for this book to be released. When it downloaded to my Kindle I was excited. As I began reading the Returned I was thinking hmmm this isn't quite what I was expecting. In truth, I'm not sure what I was expecting, but this wasn't it. Not that it was bad, it was intriguing. The more I read, the more I loved Lucille, Jacob and Harold. My heart ached for their loss and the joy of Jacob's return. I loved the differing reactions between Lucille and Harold. I found all of the characters engaging in various ways. But most importantly, the story was engaging. It was thought provoking, sad, funny, and extremely well written. The wait was worth it.
Comments about The Returned:
This is getting a lot of buzz, so what I say hardly matters. I'm not sure what I expected when I first read the blurb for this story, but this isn't it. The story could have been so much more. We can all imagine having loved ones come back from the dead - well, maybe not, but we can certainly imagine how it would feel to have more time with those we've lost, right? With The Returned I expected more...oomph, more...something. Also, apart from a few quotes from Revelations being thrown about, there's not even a hint of what caused this phenomenon. The writing is overly sentimental and at times, wishy-washy. I think this story needed a more experienced hand. By the end of the book I was left feeling angry that I'd wasted my money.
Number Of Pages: 352
Published: 1st September 2013
Country of Publication: AU