Tuesday, 13 May 2014

The Returned by Jason Mott

The Returned
From Goodreads
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.
My thoughts
I found this a well written story and I loved the premise of it. Please do not confuse this story with the Channel 4 series called The Returned that is the UK airing of the French series called Les Revenants. The latter is a much darker tale more about zombies and similar.

The Returned is about the dead returning to us. Most of us that have lost a loved one at some point in our lives will have wished that they were still with us at some time in our lives. How would we cope if they did return to us? This is what the story is about really.

How loved ones cope with the return of the deceased, how society copes and how they try to come up with an explanation of how and why it is happening.

The story centres mostly around an elderly couple Harold & Lucille Hargrave whose son Jacob returns to them. The Author I feel deals well with the feelings of all concerned. The story is also littered at the end of each chapter with titbits about other people that have returned and who live in different places than Arcadia where most of the story is set.

I would definitely recommend this story to others who like futuristic, dystopian style reads. I will look out for further books by this Author and would be keen to read anymore that might follow this theme.

Thanks to NetGalley and the Publishers for the copy of this story in exchange for an honest review.

I gave this an 8/10.

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