The Returned by Jason Mott


The Returned, Jason Mott


Harold and Lucille Hargrave lost their only son, 8-year-old Jacob, about 50 years ago and in the years since have settled into life with just each other for company. But one night, a government man knocks on the door with Jacob standing next to him – still 8 years old, but living and breathing. There are reports from all over of the dead returning – no one knows how or why, but suddenly people long gone are reappearing as if they’d never left. The small Southern town that the Hargraves call home will become a community threatened with destruction over the chaos created by the dead no longer remaining dead.

The premise for The Returned is so great – what would you do if one day a loved one who had passed away showed up again? Not as a zombie, but just as normal and alive as they had been right before they died? It’s a sad, thought-provoking concept.

Sadly, I never really connected with the main characters. Being set in the south and focusing on an elderly couple, there was a lot of religious talk being thrown around – it wasn’t preachy, but it did define the characters to a certain degree and I had a hard time relating to that. By the end I still had a lot of questions about the phenomenon that went unanswered, and that bugged me at first. But the more I thought about it, that might have been the point – to have some more time with the people we loved and lost, and just count it as a blessing instead of looking for explanations.

This was a good book, but not great. Apparently it’s already being adapted for a TV show called Resurrection, set to premiere in March, and I’ll be interested in checking that out. I think the tv show will have a greater opportunity to explore some more of the characters, and I’ll be curious to see spin they put on the miracle of dead people returning to life.

Sarah Says: 3 stars





  1. Hmm. This sounds like it was a relocated novelisation of “Les Revenants,” a French TV series from earlier this year. (In fact, the UK title was… “The Returned.”)


  2. I’m really confused by this book (and ESPECIALLY that there’s going to be a tv series!) cause there’s this French tv show called The Returned (or Les Revenants, if you want to get fancy) which has pretty much the exact same premise as this but they’re not the same thing (I have checked already!)

    So what I’m saying is… I kind of want to read this to see how it compares? And also I want to recommend the French tv show cause it’s REALLY good!


  3. The premise sounds awesome, but it’s a shame that the phenomenon isn’t explained. Yes, yes, I’m missing the point, but I would probably get stuck on the details in trying to learn the “but why/how?”, the strings attached, and the hidden consequences, to ever be satisfied with the ending.


  4. it seems an interesting story but i think i might feel the same since they didn’t explain the reasons. but it doesn’t mean i wont try to read 🙂


  5. Hmmm, this sounds like a really awesome concept… but your review (and the comments left so far) make me question whether I’d want to invest my time in reading it. Too bad because it could be amazing.


  6. I never connected with the characters, either. I found some of them to be caricatures based on stereotypes of religious and/or Southern people, and that annoyed me. I’m still looking forward to the tv show, though!


  7. The reaction to this book is so interesting to me. It seems that people either loved it or thought it was “meh”. Well, I guess that’s true of every book. Hmm, I’m not explaining myself very well here. There are a lot of mixed reactions to this one…I think that’s what I’m trying to say. 😉


  8. Reading the book now and having a hard time getting into it. In fact, I’ve read a couple of other books while trying to read this one. I’m more than halfway thru and I agree with a disconnect with the characters. So much that I find myself now skimming some pages, just so I can finally get to the end. Not the way I typically read books!


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