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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The Returned (The Returned #1) by Jason Mott

The Returned
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.
Summary & cover taken from
Length: 352 pages (Hardcover)
Source: Review Copy
Publication Date: August 27th 2013 by Harlequin MIRA
Just before I went on vacation I received a package from the fabulous people over at Harlequin containing a hardcover copy of Jason Mott's recently released novel The Returned, and while I was away on vacation I actually had the time to read and it boy was it ever an experience.
The Returned was like nothing that I have ever read before and I mean that in the kindest way possible. It was one of those novels that sounded so different, so unique that I was both curious to read it and worried I might not enjoy it because of how different it is from my usual reads. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find it to be an amazing novel that will worm it's way into your heart and stay on your mind days after you've finished reading it.
I thought the premise of the book was new, and fantastic. What would the world be like if the dead started returning from wherever they went, looking exactly the same as they did before they died? Would we treat them as people? Would they be classified as "Returned" and somehow much less than human? Perhaps, they would be more than human?

The novel centers around one family the Hargraves in middle America. Harold and Lucille have been watching the news learning about the folks that are coming back from the "other side" when their own boy is found and returned to their doorstep. The problem? He's 8 years old and Harold and Lucille are in their 70's and so their lives are once again irrevocably changed for both better and worse.

The story was beautifully written and I completely fell in love with the Hargraves. The dynamics between all of them was interesting to read about, and seeing how each of them in turn was dealing with all these new changes was great. Jason Mott created an emotionally intense read that captivated me so much that I read the book in one sitting. I just couldn't get enough of it. He made his characters so real and so life like it was hard to believe that they weren't living and breathing people.

Overall, The Returned was an absolutely amazing debut novel and I commend Jason Mott for writing such a powerful, thought provoking novel that makes you question things and do some soul searching. I haven't come across a novel like this before and I'm so grateful to have been given the opportunity to read and review this novel and look forward to reading more from this author and am very excited to see how the upcoming television show based on the novel will turn out as well as looking forward to seeing where the next book will go.

I highly recommend The Returned to people who want a book that will make you laugh, cringe, question your faith in humanity and restore it all in one 352 pages package. It was a really unique read with an awesome premise and had fantastic writing and characters.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my free and honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are 100% my own.
I read this book for the following reading challenges:
2013 150+ Reading Challenge
Loved It!
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  1. Replies
    1. I think this one would be something you'd enjoy Babe. I'm looking forward to watching the television show with you :)

  2. Thanks for your fantastic review Kimberly! I have this one to read too and I've heard mostly good things so it's good to get another opinion on it. I really love the premise of the book too. Will save this one for when I'm wanting a thought-provoking, deeper read!

    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence

    1. Thanks Jeann! I hope you read it soon, it's definitely not one to be missed. I hope you like it :)

  3. I didn't know that this book was being made into a TV series. Wow! That's amazing since it was just released. I really enjoyed the deep questions that this book presented, but I thought it was a bit slow in parts - I almost appreciated the book more after I read it than while I was reading it because I spent time pondering it afterward. I could definitely see it making a great TV show, though.

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    1. I know! Isn't it crazy? It only got published August 27th. I'm so glad to have found another person who loved it as much as I did. Have you read the prequels?


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