Book review: The Returned by Jason Mott

Harold and Lucille Hargrave's lives have never been the same since their only son, Jacob, died tragically at his eighth birthday party in 1966. In their old age they've settled into life without him, their wounds tempered through the grace of time... Until one day Jacob mysteriously appears on their doorstep- flesh 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 sign of the end. As chaos erupts around the globe, the newly reunited Hargrave family find themselves at the centre 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.
Exploring timeless questions of faith and morality, love and responsibility, The Returned is an unforgettable story that marks the arrival of an important new voice in contemporary fiction. 
I found this book quite haunting, mainly due to its simplicity.
Jacob drowned in his eighth birthday in 1966 but now he has returned. He is still eight years old but his parents are now in their retirement years. They have hugely conflicted emotions; they are overjoyed to be reunited with their son but is it really Jacob and where has he been? Jacob is not the only one, people are returning all over the world which causes huge problems, people are frightened and there is not enough room.
Harold and Lucille live in a small southern American town called Arcadia and Jacob and the other returned are creating a lot of tension. Harold and Lucille must protect the son they have already lost once.
Jason Mott has written such an interesting story. There are not a huge amount of sub-plots in this book, it is more about the characters and the questions they raise. How would you react if your loved ones returned? How would you treat them? What if you didn't want them back? What if your loved ones didn't return?
The author chooses words very carefully to create an emotive and highly charged atmosphere. This book left me with a lot to think about and Jason Mott is an author I will look out for.

Dot Scribbles Rating: 4/5
Pages: 400 
Publisher: Mira

Many thanks to Pauline at Cherish PR for sending me a copy of the book to review, The Returned is out now!

1 comment:

Nikki-ann said...

Interesting premise! I might have to seek this one out :)

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