The Returned

The Returned - Jason Mott Harold and Lucille Hargrave are senior citizens now, living their life in quiet, comfortable familiarity. It wasn’t always like that … at one time they were parents of a son. Sadly, on the day they were all celebrating his 8th birthday he wandered off and drowned in the river running through their rural property. When Harold answers a knock at their front door thirty-two years later he sees a stranger standing there with a little boy. A little boy he introduces as Jacob; a little boy who is still 8-years-old; a little boy who looks strikingly like their son.

They had heard the news reports about “the returned”. The stories about long dead loved ones returning to their families’ years and even decades after they had died. Harold and Lucille had not put much stock in those stories until now … here was the “living” proof they were true. Despite the child standing on his front porch Harold had his doubts and apprehensions but Lucille welcomed Jacob back with open arms and very little doubt. Soon more and more people are “returning”, not only in their little town, but also worldwide. It’s become a sort of reverse pandemic.

The premise of this book is fascinating but Mr. Mott takes the story to so many more levels than I expected when I picked it up. Using the “returned” Mr. Mott makes the reader take a hard look at how outsiders are treated and how different types of persons deal with new and unusual situations. I was reminded of emancipation issues and the holocaust as I read certain parts of this book. In this work of fiction, humanity is obviously not learned much or else chooses to forget those lessons when something rocks the even keel of life.

This book has been made into a television series (Resurrection) currently airing in North America as well as in France (Les Revenants). I have not watch any episodes but curiosity will not doubt win out and I will check out the series. Les Revenants is available on Netflix and reviews indicate that it is a better adaptation of the book.