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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

3.6 (389 )
5 star
 (82)
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3.5 (361 )
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Story
4.0 (352 )
5 star
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4 star
 (147)
3 star
 (65)
2 star
 (16)
1 star
 (10)
Performance
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  •  
    Amy Edwardsville, IL, United States 04-23-15
    Amy Edwardsville, IL, United States 04-23-15 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    0
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    10
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    "It's an ok concept book."

    The best I can say about this is that it is a great idea, but it never quite makes it past just an ok read. Kudos to whoever rewrote this for the TV series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    judy Marion, IA, United States 04-21-15
    judy Marion, IA, United States 04-21-15 Member Since 2013
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Makes you think..."

    A very different perspective on death. It was an interesting story. Not sure I would have picked up the book, but glad I got to listen...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Leslie Mead 01-21-15
    Leslie Mead 01-21-15 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "The Returned"

    I actually had no expectations. I did enjoy the reader. However I felt it could have had a deeper plot and more character definition.
    Overall it was a fair read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alysia Redondo Beach, CA, United States 12-15-14
    Alysia Redondo Beach, CA, United States 12-15-14 Member Since 2013

    Just another girl with too many books and not enough time for them all.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    31
    ratings
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    86
    83
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    4
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    Story
    "Interesting Story"

    I got a copy of this book from the author/publisher at BEA13. Yes I know! That was one month shy of a year ago and I am just now getting to it. Well the audiobook at least.
    The story of all stories starts with a little boy found in the rice paddies of China being returned to his family in the states. The story twist, the OMG of it all is that this boy has been not missing but dead for 40 years and he is the same age as when he died. Eight year old Jacob remembers nothing of the time he has been gone, only waking up in China. To him no time has passed and nothing unusual has happened. Jacob is not the only one. There are hundreds of people just waking up in the most random places with no memory of what has happened to them. They all say they just woke up. The dead or coming back and they all are trying to get back to their loved one.
    I love this story idea. I have said it before I am a sucker for an original story idea. This is not a "Night of the Living Dead" book at all. It is more like people just reconnecting with the ones they love(d). There are several storylines and families in this book but Jacob's parents -Harold and Lucille are the main focus. I love the way their love and reconnection of their family builds and grows as Jacob's life touches them both in completely different ways. No absent YA parents here. They have been married forever.
    Could you image seeing your son after he has been dead and buried for more than 40 years? You have worked as much as you could through the grieving process. You have moved forward with your life and WHAM!! He's back and looks the same as when you saw him last.
    I really like this book but it was not a solid like until I got to the author's notes at the end. The book does not give a explanation as to why this is happening all over the world. The reactions of the population I can see really happening but I needed a bit more. The author's notes give the reader an answer to the why? But the question is ...What made him write this novel? What a touching answer.
    Please read the prequels before jumping into this novel. The prequels are great.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elizabeth A. Woodrum Ohio 12-12-14

    Beth

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    13
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Disappointing"
    Any additional comments?

    This is a rare occasion where I actually learned of the book after watching the tv show, now in its second season. There were some very interesting developments on the show. So, I decided to read the book to perhaps gain some insight as to what may be going on in the show. I cannot tell you how disappointed I was that the show is so much better than the book. Of course there are some differences, which I expected. But, the cast of main characters is so much smaller in the book. The intrigue in the show was not present in the book. Here's the kicker...you never find out why or how the returned came back. To me, that was a cop out. The story built up to the climax, but we never really got a full resolution. This is the first time in my life that a book was not as well developed as a movie or show.

    The narrator did a nice job, and there were some very interesting story ideas in the book. But, it seemed like the author just decided to stop writing and threw in an author's note to explain some reasons why, without coming right out and saying that's what he was doing.

    I wanted to like the book, and I was excited to read it. But, it was a disappointment.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sammie Kaie 10-19-14
    Sammie Kaie 10-19-14

    Sammie

    ratings
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    26
    6
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    Story
    "Good but..."
    Would you listen to The Returned again? Why?

    I enjoyed this book but have been waiting forever (or so it seems) for the sequel. I'm not sure he's going to write it so if you don't like cliffhangers, don't bother.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    BURMADEANE GEORGE 10-13-14 Member Since 2012
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    16
    4
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    Performance
    Story
    "Duty Calls!!"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    This was my book club's selection of the month. I didn't like it but I read it as a "duty." We all know that a duty does not have to to be liked - just done.
    Well my thoughts about the books; First the disappointments (other than not liking the book in first place): Elvis, Marvin Gaye, nor Otis Redding ever came back! Also the Pastor seeing his wife as "failures," and the way he left her and his continued patterned. Fred Green's revolt (reminded me of the California citizens blocking the immigration bus.) Funny - was the 'love affair' of Harold and the old Black lady, Mrs. Stone. Compassionate, but hilarious! The surprise was Lucille!


    If you’ve listened to books by Jason Mott before, how does this one compare?

    No, this was my first.


    What three words best describe Tom Stechschulte’s performance?

    Job well done!


    Do you think The Returned needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    Goodness no!! Let the dead stay dead!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M. Anderson ND 09-03-14
    M. Anderson ND 09-03-14 Member Since 2013

    The Danger Bunny

    ratings
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    15
    1
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    Story
    "Was sucked in immediately"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I have recommended this book to friends and I will continue to do so. This book is not only a captivating book to listen to, it opens your mind to so many other possibilities about life, death and the human condition.


    What other book might you compare The Returned to and why?

    I have never read or listened to another book like tis one. It is a very unique story.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I don't think that I could choose any one part of this book to be my favorite. Every chapeter brought something new and something honest and deep with it.


    Who was the most memorable character of The Returned and why?

    The father I believe was the most memorable in my mind. The way he said one thing yet his actions were a complete contrast to that.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    peter harris 08-03-14
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Pointless"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    No. It was read very well, but the story itself was filled with too many cliches, and it did not go anywhere. It also seemed to be written to a very old audience. The most frustrating thing about it was the very idea of the returned. A very intriguing idea, that would require a fantastic explanation, only the writer never offers one. Instead - these people who just reappear in the world as the same people they were when they originally left it - seem to serve no purpose at all before they just randomly leave - just disappear - again.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Moby Dick, if I can get this Audible app to download my purchase to my phone.


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

    No. I did enjoy him very much though. I have witnessed the destruction of perfectly good story lines, by horrible narration. So, I appreciate good narration.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    No.


    Any additional comments?

    These audible books are priced too highly.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jane Taylor Rockville, MD United States 07-01-14
    Jane Taylor Rockville, MD United States 07-01-14 Member Since 2014

    jesuva

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    12
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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
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