Sunday, October 2, 2016

Review: The Returned by Jason Mott

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.

 Kindle Edition, 345 pages 
Published March 25th 2014
 by Harlequin MIRA 
(first published January 1st 2013)
** 1/2

I found the premise of this book very intriguing and that is what pulled me to it. When eight-year-old Jacob lands on the doorstep of his aged parents home 50 plus years after he drowned it causes quite the uproar. As the story unfolds we find out it isn't just him but quite a number of people from various ages, backgrounds and vastly different times of death and means, have returned.

Well I found the opening part very intriguing and had me wondering what was going on and looking forward to reading more. How could this happen? Why is it happening? And how is the world going to react to this? It was during the middle part of the book that the story lagged and I found myself losing interest. I couldn't connect with any of the characters and maybe that is why my interest waned. Towards the end it did pick up with a dramatic conclusion.

But still I was expecting more from this book, maybe a little about the afterlife and why they returned, what did China have to do with all this.  Too many questions and not enough answers. There was so much potential for more here, when a murdered family returns I would have loved to see the murderer caught, when Nazi's return and learn how they are hated...yea so much potential.

Remember this is just my opinion, there are plenty of 5 star ratings out there and it just goes to show what doesn't tickle one person's fancy does another.

Thanks to Harlequin MIRA for an ebook copy (via netgalley), in exchange for an honest review.

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