“Some folks locked the doors of their hearts when they lost someone. Others kept the doors and the windows open, letting memory and love pass through freely.”
The Returned by Jason Mott
**ARC priovided by Netgalley**
Summary: People die. They don’t come back. But what if they did come, and when they did, they came back exactly the same as when they died? That is what is happening all over the world, even in the small town of Arcadia. Harold and Lucille have their own opinions, but they change when their own son, Jacob returns. He has been dead since 1966, and came back as the 8 year old boy they had so loved. Why did he come back? Is he really Jacob? A tale of how we cope with love, loves lost, and what happens to us after they are lost.
Review: I wasn’t sure what to expect from this novel. I definitely didn’t expect what I got! This book is being turned into a TV show by ABC, called “The Resurrection”. Omar Epps will be playing Bellamy, so naturally, I had to read the book first. I was lucky enough to receive and ARC so I can give you guys my thoughts!
Not a typical science fiction or fantasy tale, The Returned is written in much the same way many classics are written. The pacing of this book is slow, sometimes too slow, yet in order to understand the effect the Returned have on their citizens, we needed the slow moments to draw a picture for us. Using language that can only be described as poignant, Mott sketches us character details of every character in the book. In fact, each chapter begins with a short essay about one of the returned.
The basis of the plot is one we have seen: everyday humans are brushed up against something they don’t understand, and use different ways to cope with it. From abuse to acceptance, this is something we see every day in our own world. Yet Mott’s plot takes a unique take in that not only is the plot about societies struggles, but individual people. The lessons learned are not just about “let’s try for more understanding”, but also about love and faith in the ones we love and care for.
The book is also about death. We lose the people we love in many ways, sometimes brutally and unexpectedly. Scars that we are left with informs are future actions. Fred and his hate, Lucille and her love, and Bellamy and his compassion. Mott conveyed to us different ways we deal with death and how we learn to move past it.
I liked how Mott depicted the main characters. Lucille was personally my favorite, a mother who had her son ripped away from her. But it was good to see it was more than her son. It boiled down to “was it right?” I also liked the Pastor. He was a good man, calm and compassionate. He had to show the town a way to co-exist with the Returned–but he struggled with his own past, and how to face up to it and his wife.
I did struggle with the flow a bit. As I mentioned before, the story moved slowly. Although most of the time the pace fit, at times I wanted to yell, “just get on with it!” I also think he struggled with non action sequences, I think. The fast action scenes were great, as were the deep thought some of the characters went through. But the other dialogue and slow action sequences were abrupt and choppy.
Pleasantly surprised, I suggest reading this book. I am not sure the direction the TV show is going to take the book, but I can almost guarantee it won’t be the same as the book. The book comes out August 27th, 2013.
Violence: Shootings and death
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars