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The Returned: A Novel | [Jason Mott]

The Returned: A Novel

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.
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Publisher's Summary

"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 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.

©2013 Jason Mott (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.5 (308 )
5 star
 (60)
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2 star
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3.4 (287 )
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Story
3.9 (277 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
 (9)
Performance
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  •  
    Jane Taylor Rockville, MD United States 07-01-14
    Jane Taylor Rockville, MD United States 07-01-14 Member Since 2007

    jesuva

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    7
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    "I wanted to like it more than I did"
    Any additional comments?

    What a great premise! I had hoped and thought it would explore really interesting and difficult questions about how we view death, and what death is and what there is or is not beyond life. It seemed like these issues would be explored, but I felt that they just got basically ignored in favor of a strange mixutre of matter of factness and stereotyped character types. I guess I enjoyed the story but was left very dissatisfied- really no questions were answered, and far too few were even discussed. The end was kind of not even there. What was the author's message? what did he want to leave in our minds and hearts to consider and either agree with or reject? If the answer is just- "I have no idea, form your own opinion" then...I could have done that w/o reading. Sorry to sound so negative- I would read another book by this author, but hope he would think through the bigger issues and use them to inform and frame the story a little more effectively.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer Dover, NH, United States 06-03-14
    Jennifer Dover, NH, United States 06-03-14 Member Since 2011
    ratings
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    22
    2
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    Story
    "Great story!"

    I wouldn't have read the book if I hadn't seen the TV show, but I'm glad I did. It was a great story and a good narrator.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Georgette Goacher San Antonio, TX 05-22-14
    Georgette Goacher San Antonio, TX 05-22-14
    ratings
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    2
    1
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    Story
    "The TV series is so much better than this book"
    Would you try another book from Jason Mott and/or Tom Stechschulte?

    No I will not try another book from Jason Mott


    Has The Returned turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No I still like this genre


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Tom Stechschulte?

    sure


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    this is only the 2nd time that I have thought the movie/tv series is better than the book. I like the TV series so I wanted to read the book. I assumed I would like the book but did not. Do not waste your time with this book. Its not that the book and the TV series does not match its that the book doesn't have much of a story.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    arline corning, ny, United States 04-17-14
    arline corning, ny, United States 04-17-14 Member Since 2013

    Hi! I'm a Math Teacher who has always loved Books with a mysterious, scientific, or other-worldly flare! Time travelers are also fun!

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    11
    11
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "No answers for the mystery"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I'd recommend the book just because the concept itself spurred so many WHAT IF's !


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Returned?

    It would be a spoiler!


    Have you listened to any of Tom Stechschulte’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No...my first. He was a good reader.


    Any additional comments?

    If you are the type that likes your book plots all wrapped up in a neat package, this one's not for you. But....Even though I really like a solid end to a book, I found the mystery of the who- what- when- where - how's actually spurred a lot more thoughts and ponderings after the book ended. More than if the author had wrapped up the ending in a neat package. It's been weeks since I finished the book and I'm still weighing what I thought about it. I loved the concept. Worth the read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Adrienne Albany, GA, United States 04-02-14
    Adrienne Albany, GA, United States 04-02-14 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
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    35
    4
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    Story
    "More interesting then the TV version."
    What did you love best about The Returned?

    The story from start to finish was about more than just the people coming back, it was about a family and a community dealing with the loss of a child, a loss that is not erased even if the child returns.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The new relationship between Harold and Jacob, and the sacrifices made.


    Which character – as performed by Tom Stechschulte – was your favorite?

    Harold was my favorite character. His honest and raw reaction to his son's return really made me sympathetic to him.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I've watched the French show The Returned and I'm currently watching the US version of the book - Resurrection. Mr. Mott's vision of the story really drew me in and made me finish the audio sooner than I had planned (binge listening). He drew a picture of the characters, the community, the "prison camp" and town that was easily visualized. Not sure if I like the twist the television series is taking away from Mr. Mott's original story line, but time will tell.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Drew (@drewsant) Watertown, MA, United States 03-26-14
    Drew (@drewsant) Watertown, MA, United States 03-26-14 Member Since 2009

    Post apocalyptic listener with some thrillers mixed in. Follow me on twitter at @drewsant

    HELPFUL VOTES
    81
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    135
    95
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    Story
    "Thought Provoking"

    “The Returned” is a thought provoking story of surrounding a small town which turns into an internment camp for people who have returned from the dead (called the returned). Are the returned people? Do they have rights? The situation draws heated debates on both sides for and against, and it’s hard to ignore the parallels to debates in today’s society. The book follows a family who has had their son returned and how they deal (or don’t deal) with the situation and the town comes along for the ride. While outside of the normal type of book that I read I really enjoyed the thought provoking ideas and the development of the characters as they move through the story.

    Mr Stechschulte does a good job with all the characters and I really enjoyed his narration.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    NevaehMiles NASHVILLE, TN, United States 02-18-14
    NevaehMiles NASHVILLE, TN, United States 02-18-14 Member Since 2011

    Living Life and Loving Reading (Listening to Books)

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I expected more"

    I decided to read this book or shall I say listen to this book (I purchased the audible version) because of the recent commercials on television for a new television series called Resurrection which will be appearing on ABC. The television trailers looked interesting enough to spark my curiosity into the dynamics surrounding a loved one coming back from the dead and the paradigms presented if reintroduced into your life as if nothing has ever changed. How would you and the people around you handle the unique type of situation?

    Although, I enjoyed reading this book, it was not a good match for me because it appeals to the possibility of bring hope into your life then taking that hope away. I imagined this story would be much more; however, when you involve faith, morality, and ethics coupled with the fears of the world, it can present chaotic circumstances.

    I am on the fence with recommending this book. It depends on individual preference and how well you can deal with a phenomenon like the one presented in this book without knowing how and why they came back.

    I never once wanted to put this book down. I always wanted more….thinking and hoping to gain the perspective of the Returned but I was hopelessly lost in the end.

    I would reread (listen) this book again to see if I missed anything from the first read, maybe then I might have a different perception of the book and my review present different outlooks. Maybe I will see how the book relates to the new TV series coming in March. I wonder if my outlook will change.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Leissa Converse, TX, United States 01-20-14
    Leissa Converse, TX, United States 01-20-14 Member Since 2005

    I LOVE audiobooks. Audible is the only way I read my favorite books.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
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    16
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    "Narrator does a good job with a weird story."
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    The listening experience was good. The book was just weird and the free previews that went along with it don't make it into the actual story really.


    What was most disappointing about Jason Mott’s story?

    I didn't like the direction of the story. It felt scattered. Characters were introduced and then dropped and their stories added nothing to the actual story.


    What about Tom Stechschulte’s performance did you like?

    I like his range and vocal talent.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    At least it didn't have a HORRIBLE ending.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carolyn Asheville, NC, United States 01-01-14
    Carolyn Asheville, NC, United States 01-01-14 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    21
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    "Interesting premise; how would you react?"

    The premise is interesting and a wish fulfilling difficult subject. The author took the premise in a particular direction but examines it on a fairly shallow level. How would you deal with the return of a loved one? How would nations deal with the return of thousands of deceased and why didn't the author deal with potential return of famous historical figures both revered and hated?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Roxanna United States 10-06-13
    Roxanna United States 10-06-13 Member Since 2010

    Rox

    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    53
    6
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    "Got boring"

    It started off well and I was interested but then I got bored half way in and had to skip a couple of chapters just so that I could finish it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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