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Thursday, June 25, 2015

The Returned by Jason Mott

About the book

Harold and Lucille Hargrave's lives have been both joyful and sorrowful in the decades since their eight-year-old son, Jacob, died tragically in 1966. In their old age they've settled comfortably into life without him. Until one day Jacob mysteriously appears on their doorstepflesh and blood, still eight years old.

All over the world people's loved ones are returning from beyond. No one knows how or why, 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 as chaos erupts around the globe, the newly reunited family finds itself at the center of a community on the brink of collapse, forced to navigate a mysterious new reality. 

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.

Book Readers Review
Jason Mott states in the forward of his book The Returned that the genesis of this novel was a dream he had.  His deceased mother was sitting at the table waiting for him when he got home and they simply talked together about what happened since her death.  The story revolves around Harold and Lucille Hargrave, an elderly couple whose son Jacob in 1966, when he was eight years old. An agent from the Bureau of the Returned brings Jacob to the couples house, Lucille accepts him but Harold cannot. Their relationship suffers as they both try to deal with the situation.  To make things worse, the little Southern town of Arcadia where the couple lives is where the government houses the many Returned souls.

The plot in this book is strange but has a degree of interest that kept me reading to the end.  At times I felt like giving up and not finishing the book as the premise has no reality. Motts exploration of the definition of humanity and treatment of humans gives more depth to the story.  But it left me with many unanswered questions and the story is too drawn out which I found  irritating. I received the book from Netgalley in return for an unbiased review.  I cannot make any recommendations as it would be a personal choice to read The Returned and I give the book three stars.

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 literary journals. He was nominated for a 2009 Pushcart Prize award and Entertainment Weekly listed him as one of their 10 "New Hollywood: Next Wave" people to watch.

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.


Resurrection is an American fantasy drama television series about dead people who return to life. The series is based on the book The Returned by Jason Mott.[1][2] The series was co-produced by ABC Studios and Plan B Entertainment, led by Brad Pitt, Aaron Zelman, JoAnn Alfano, Jon Liebman, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Michele Fazekas, and Tara Butters. The series aired from March 9, 2014, through January 25, 2015. On May 7, 2015, ABC cancelled Resurrection after two seasons.[3]