Indie Next ListSeptember 2013
What would you do if someone you loved, someone who meant the world to you, who made your life complete…died? What would you do if fifty years later that person showed up on your doorstep—never having aged, without any recollection of where they had been? This is the question that faces the world in Jason Mott’s The Returned. Part science fiction, part family drama, part philosophical treatise on human nature, The Returned delves deep into groupthink and the human psyche without forsaking a genuinely riveting story. From concepts of faith, to morality, philosophy, and the frightening actions that arise out of fear; The Returned keeps you on your toes, and further, stimulates in a way that goes beyond the intellectual, touching your heart and moral soul. This is one book that is guaranteed to get you thinking and talking, and will leave your breathless in the end. -- Heather Christman, Warwick's, La Jolla, CA
An "extraordinary"* and "breathtaking"** debut about a family given an impossible miracle and a second chance at life.
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.
* "Publishers Weekly, " starred review ** "Kirkus Reviews, " starred review