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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 healed 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 Hargraves find themselves 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, 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.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By FanB14 on 09-15-13
You'd Want to Return It
Positive reviews in Entertainment Weekly magazine always spark my interest to listen to said book on Audible. Usually spot on, not so for this one. The overall idea of the dead coming back at the same age, suspended in time, yet in the future is intriguing. If you watched "The 4400" on the USA Network in years past, you won't be surprised by the idea, but the two cannot compare. I cared about those characters and wanted to walk away from the farmer, his wife, and Jacob, but stayed for a visit waiting for some dramatic or even mildly interesting explanation that never came to pass.
Plodding along, "The Returned" introduces a newish idea and causes us to question our prejudices along with how society treats those who are different from the norm. I did enjoy the repartee between the farmer and man from the bureau. Mott is a good writer; story just sluggish and unsatisfying. Save your credit for another book.
38 of 41 people found this review helpful
By Jill on 09-12-13
I kept waiting for it to get going
What was most disappointing about Jason Mott’s story?
It seemed to drag on and was rather anti-climactic. I found myself getting excited for the next turn of events, only to be disappointed by the story losing it's momentum.
Which character – as performed by Tom Stechschulte – was your favorite?
What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?
Disappointment. I was intrigued at the beginning as it reminded me of a Stephen King novel, but fell short of my expectations.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Toby on 09-11-13
Can't ignore the obvious
Got this on an Audible recommendation, but it might be last time I do that.
I understand that this story deals with a family during an 'incident', but there are glaring omissions that really weaken the back-story in my humble opinion. It's hard to care about the characters and their troubled emotions dealing with the 'Returned' when not a single person in the immediate or wider story suggests actually digging up a grave to see if the original bodies are still there.
That said, the writing is good and the reader does a good job. I just didn't connect with the story.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
By Sara on 02-16-15
Excellent! But quite different to the TV Series
I loved listening to this story. The narrator performs the different characters very well, most of which are southern American. I bought this audio book as I enjoyed watching the TV that is based on it. The story is quite different to that of the TV series, however it is still a great story.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful