The Returned

The Returned - Jason Mott The Returned is a beautifully written debut novel by Jason Mott. It's an interesting look into what would happen if the dead started coming back. This isn't your typical zombie story. The people don't want to eat you. They just appear one day having no idea how they got there or what happened to them after they died. Most people come back in far away places. The Returned focuses on the impact of the phenomenon and how it affects one town and one family. Sprinkled throughout the book are hints as to how the rest of the world is dealing as well.

For Harold and Lucille, they find that the return of their 8 year old son (who died in 1966) isn't all its cracked up to be. They both have very different initial reactions. Lucille is thrilled, but Harold is wary and doesn't believe it is his son. Despite this, Harold chooses to stay with Jacob when he is put into the containment camp. The scenes in the containment camp reminded me of the horror stories we heard about the shelters during Hurricane Katrina. Being over run with people, no space, running water, or sanitary conditions. Not a situation I would wish on anyone. I don't want to give too much away, because it would spoil the story. For me the ending was very bittersweet.

The unique thing about the book is that no one ever figures out how or why the people came back. At least, the reader is never told. For me, that wasn't really the point of the book. The book is more about deciding if you would want that second chance. If you got it, what would you do with it? Sometimes, I think about having one more day with a lost loved one. But, would that ultimately cause me more grief once they left me again? I think this is going to be one of those books that will stick with me for a long time to come. I definitely recommend trying it out.

posted on From the TBR Pile