The Returned by Jason Mott.Imagine a world where the dead come back. One day there is a knock on your door and there is a man from the International Bureau of the Returned with a loved one that may have died 10, 20, or even 50 years prior. The loved one has returned unharmed and ready to start living their life again. That is exactly what happens to Harold and Lucille Hargrave. Their 8 year old son Jacob has been returned to them, at age 8 years old, exactly how he appeared before he died in 1966. We follow what happens to the newly restored Hargrave family, and what happens to their town of Arcadia, amid the chaos of the dead returning to life all over the world.
What are they here for? What caused them to come back? Are they still human? Are they our loved ones or some sort of sinister copy? Do they mean us harm? Are they here to stay? Who comes back? Who doesn't? Will they overrun the Earth? The Returned answers some of these questions but leaves many unanswered, eventually culminating in violence as most stories where people fear the unexplained must.
I really enjoyed this book. It is a quick read and touches on some really interesting philosophical questions. It spends a lot of time on the subject of grief, as would be normal considering the subject matter. It comes off as a sort of supernatural mystery, and it is a quick and entertaining read with many interesting and likable characters. I would definitely recommend this book. Although the story has a supernatural bent, it shows us a great deal about human nature, and what people can do when they are motivated by pain and fear, and what they are capable of when they are motivated by love and acceptance. I'm looking forward to whatever Mr. Mott has in store for us in future novels.