Be careful what you wish for.
When Harold and Lucille Hargrave’s son died tragically on his 8th birthday, they never expected to see him again. And they certainly never expected to find him, decades later, on their front porch very much alive and still 8 years old.
And so begins the compelling and thought provoking The Returned by poet and novelist Jason Mott. Inspired by a dream he had about his mother coming back to life, he crafted a beautiful novel that explores love and loss.
The Hargraves grieved once–and throughout their lives–and having their son back brings both great joy, sadness and uncertainty. They’ve changed, but their son hasn’t. His mere existence reminds them of the lives they’ve lost. And what now? People are returning from the dead all over the planet and no one knows why this is happening, how long they will stay or why only some loved ones return.
It’s complicated business, coming back from the dead. What’s expected of the True Living, especially those whose lives have moved on? Just ask the married pastor whose his teenage fiancee comes back, looking to pick up right where they left off.
A new government agency is developed to handle the needs of the Returned: they eat, they sometimes sleep, and they need help connecting with their families since they often return thousands of miles away from those they once knew. Soon the Returned are gathered up in select towns all over the world, against their will, for their own good.
The Returned explores love, grief, closure and heroism. Just try reading this book and not talking about it with everyone you know. Consider it for your book club as it touches on spirituality and religion in ways that can appeal to a wide range of belief systems. In fact, I think you should read it now, and then come back to discuss it with me.
Go ahead. I’ll be here when you are done.
Want to know more about Jason Mott’s inspiration or process writing this stunning debut novel? Check out this Librarian/Author interview on the Cloud Unbound tumblr: Q&A with Jason Mott. (Spoiler alert: I’m the librarian!)
Read the book already and can’t get enough? You are in luck as a television series is in the works! Look for The Resurrection next spring. Here is the haunting trailer for the television pilot.
What are some of your favorite discussion books? Have you read The Returned yet? Share your thoughts below!