“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.
There is only one word for this book: wow. It is hard to believe that this is a debut novel, it is so well written and had me completely hooked from the first sentence. This book raises so many conflicting questions and emotions. Imagine everyone who ever died, returned. This book made me think about things that would probably never have crossed my mind otherwise.
Mott tackles the tricky subject along with the recurring theme of religion in an honest yet delicate way.
This is an original, engaging dystopian book with a literary edge. I found Mott’s writing is beautifully poetic and intriguingly sparing.
I recommend this book to everyone regardless of preferred genres.
I received an advanced reader copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.