Publication Date: 27th August 2013
Book Source: Thanks to Harlequin Mira
Synopsis: 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.
A haunting and thought provoking read.
You can get the general gist of The Returned from the synopsis or you may have heard the buzz and read the many reviews already. So I'll just tell you how this book made me feel.
Sensitive, lyrical writing with an eerie quality, The Returned touched me deeply, it made me cry for more than one reason. It's a recurrent dream ... to have my baby girl returned to my arms ... what I would give for just one more day to hold her close to my heart and make precious memories.
People's fear of the unknown or that which is different was sad and confronting to read ... the Returned were harming no one, yet they were perceived as a threat by many. Reactions made me think we had progressed so little over the years ... a scary thought.
Morality, humanity, civil rights, religion, love and second chances. All those 'biggies' that really make you pause and think. I like to believe the Returned are a miracle but that begs the question if everyone got their miracle ... how on earth would the world cope.
Don't expect all your questions to be answered, it's not that kind of story ... I liked the "open to interpretation" feel to it. I liked the door it opened for me into "what if" territory.
This is one debut novel I'm glad I read, I'll definitely be reading more from Jason Mott.
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