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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 (307 )
5 star
 (60)
4 star
 (104)
3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Overall
3.5 (286 )
5 star
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Story
3.9 (276 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    lynn Wheeling, WV, United States 09-24-13
    lynn Wheeling, WV, United States 09-24-13 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    9
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "really wanted to like it"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    the story was okay but it began to feel like the author was trying to teach me a lesson and i wanted entertainment.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    this could have been a series and taken many different turns, but it didnt and after awhile it was depressing.


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

    no, he wasnt bad but I think the story was my main problem


    Was The Returned worth the listening time?

    not really, i did not even finish listening, it became a drag to listen to


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    julesy AUSTIN, TEXAS, United States 09-14-13
    julesy AUSTIN, TEXAS, United States 09-14-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Story
    "O lawd!! Not worth the hype"
    Any additional comments?

    I'd heard some hype around this book, and it definitely sounded like an interesting premise -- a la Tom Perrotta's "The Leftovers," which I absolutely adored. But it wasn't worth the hype. It wasn't even worth its own hype.

    There are a lot of interesting ideas hinted to at this book -- for a time I had high hopes it was going to turn into a horror story -- but in the end, it fell completely flat. Listening to the author's note at the end made it even worse.

    The book reads like the small-town, simple-minded Southern folks it features, which is to say alternately charming and infuriatingly contradictory. In one paragraph the a character is described as a man who doesn't believe in -- refuses to -- apologize for things he knows are right, but in the next he "apologizes without quite knowing why."

    The narration often speaks in broad terms, as if describing a story that could never have gone any other way, and in some instances Mott is right: that's exactly what people are like, and that's exactly how this or that petty conflict would play out. But in others, Mott seems to have taken cookie-cutter characterizations and placed them into a cookie-cutter story about "others." If you want a great story about how small-town folks react with a stranger in the midst, go see "Bat Boy."

    However: I did listen to the whole thing, and in a span of just a couple of days. I couldn't put it down, as they say, even if the things that perked my interest never came to fruition. Granted, there were times I only kept listening to hear narrator Tom Stechschulte's Old Southern Lady impression -- I'm still laughing just *imagining* his voice saying, "Ohhhh lawwwwwwddddddddd, oh lawwwddddddd" (which happens a lot in this book). Comedic gold, if only because no actual person actually sounds like that, in the South or elsewhere.

    On a last note, if you were as intrigued by the premise and as let down by the execution of this book as I was, check out "The 4400" on Netflix. Same idea; less Jesus, more awesome.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Renee AURORA, IN, United States 09-01-13
    Renee AURORA, IN, United States 09-01-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Disapointed"
    Would you try another book from Jason Mott and/or Tom Stechschulte?

    No/Yes


    Would you ever listen to anything by Jason Mott again?

    Maybe ,if it was free.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    No standouts


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

    disapointmennt


    Any additional comments?

    Could have been a great story but too many questions left unanswered. Way too preachy.

    4 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    STEVEN 09-19-13
    STEVEN 09-19-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Never went anywhere."
    Would you try another book from Jason Mott and/or Tom Stechschulte?

    I kept waiting for a proper answer, or a conclusion, but it never came.


    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Abraca Nevada 09-12-13
    Abraca Nevada 09-12-13 Member Since 2006

    Abracadabra

    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    38
    9
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    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Average at best"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    There are much better books out there


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    Disappointed......no satisfactory resolution


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Tom Stechschulte?

    Maybe, he's not bad, but awful take of main female voice


    Was The Returned worth the listening time?

    Not, really.....interesting premise but not even the authors idea. Did nothing to build on an interesting concept.


    Any additional comments?

    May be cathartic for author,by not for me!

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MrGary52 Aptos, CA United States 09-10-13
    MrGary52 Aptos, CA United States 09-10-13 Member Since 2011
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    19
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Interesting Story, terrible narrator"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Long time audible listener; this is the first book I've stopped listening to because the narrator's voice simply doesn't carry any emotion. I keep trying and wanting to listen through, but I stop every time. I'll probably buy the kindle book instead, and consider this a lesson in needing to listen to the sample before buying an audio book. Sigh.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Haven't finished, so no comment


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Tom Stechschulte?

    Anyone


    Could you see The Returned being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    Haven't finished, so no comment


    0 of 4 people found this review helpful
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