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3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9 out of 5 stars
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on 25 August 2014
I really struggled to finish this book. I kept going as the idea was interesting and I really wanted to understand more about how or why the author thought it had occurred. I finished it, feel non the wiser and generally just feel like I have wasted my reading time. I am not often moved to review but just feel so discomfited by this book and the complete lack of real ending or understanding .
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on 11 September 2014
whilst this is a thought provoking and interesting study of human nature, it left me saying but why dont they...? and why havent they..? qute often which is actually quite fraustrating as it stretches credibility just that little bit too far
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on 6 April 2014
Perhaps it's because I've lost a child myself, but the premise of this book, similar to les revenants, is irresistible and brutalising in its simplicity. How do we live when our dead return. How do we make space for them, can we or does a darker fear and jealousy take the place of anticipation and love.
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on 12 November 2013
I watched the gorgeous French series, The Returned, which made me want to look into the book that inspired it. Apart from the basic premise: Dead people come back to life and try to resume their old lives, there is none of the beauty and intensity of the French drama. The book is VERY American. When the dead start coming back, the government sets up concentration camps, everyone is stockpiling guns, and right wingers want to send them all back to hell. This wouldn't have been so bad except for the story tends to be repetitive and dull. Many chapters of people hiding out with not much to say to each other. I struggled to get to the end.
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on 12 April 2015
This book I found very thought provoking, the characters become very important and you want them to be happy, well I did anyway. I was sad really that they had to leave in the end but we must all return to the soil, circle of life as they say.
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on 10 October 2013
It is hard to write a review a book when you don't even understand the description on the back cover. Harold and Lucille are in their 70/80's. In 1966, their 8 year old son, Jacob disappears from his birthday party. He is found, drowned in the river and the family are generally pitied by the community. Until, some 50years later, Jacob is brought to the front door by "Agent Bellamy". Jacob is still the 8 year old boy he was when he died.

As the book progresses, it transpires that Jacob, is not the only person who has returned to their loved ones from "the beyond" - which results in reprisals, national outcries and presidential announcements as anarchy and disruption breaks out.

I'm not entirely sure what genre Jason Mott is trying to write. The book certainly isn't funny, it isn't romantic, it isn't a crime novel, it isn't very frightening which stops it being a horror novel and if it is trying to be soul-searching, it isn't. The only way I can sum up the writing is, weird.

I can't help but wonder just how much editing this book has received. I wonder how much of the original work has been lost in order to make it fit a specific brief. There are sections through this book written in a different font, clearly the thoughts and actions of certain characters, but i'm not sure which ones as the bio-pics don't seem to relate to anyone.

For me there was no intrigue, no suspense, it isn't a book I enjoyed and isn't one I would recommend to anyone.
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on 28 December 2013
I was browsing Netgalley when I saw The Returned. The blurb really intrigued me. The dead returning would surely be apocalyptic! How would the world cope? Not just on an emotional level but with resources too ...

Harold and Lucille (Jacob's parents) had been watching `the returned' on TV when Jacob turns up on the doorstep. They had previously discussed what they would do if he returned but the reality ...

They live in a small community, Arcadia, and a church meeting is called.

How they cope with their memories and the reality of Jacob still being 8 while they are aged is interspersed with brief `windows' into other experiences: children not understanding why they're not wanted; dilemmas with parents and how they feel; the reactions of the public and officials. This allows the reader to get a perspective on the personal (with Jacob) and the reach/impact outside of the community.

Holding places are quickly brought into being to hold the returned. These are more prison than anything else. Jacob is impounded and Harold chooses to stay with him while Lucille visits them with clean clothes and food. Soon resources become scarce. We get deeper and deeper into moral dilemmas ...

Within the large scale impact is Harold's own journey of coming to terms with his guilt and a letting go.

The Returned is thought-provoking and harrowing in places. The world Mott creates is very believable and some scenes will take you out of your comfort zone. Emotions are not rational or objective and Mott uses this `temporary insanity' to great effect. He skilfully shows how similar we all are underneath the veneer of labels that life gives us to function in society.
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on 8 December 2013
"Something has happened", he belted out, startling the church. "Something-the cause of which we have not yet been made privy-has happened." He spread his arms. "And what are we to do? How are we to react? Should we be afraid? ..."

I, like Cory, am giving this book a 3 star rating even though I DNFed it. Honestly I wasn't the intended audience for this book so I really cannot blame the book for the fact that I could not get into it.

This book is for an audience who isn't looking for action but rather for a powerful and emotional message.

The main characters of this book are an old couple (in their 70's ) who have their son returned. Now when they were originally discussing the possibility it was Lucille who was vary but when their son returned it was Harold who became vary. He doesn't really think that this 'thing' could be his son.

There are also small chapters that focus on other Returned characters and how they are treated. Some of them are treated horribly and some of them are well received. Some of them are rejected by their own families.

Humans have always been scared of the unknown and the fact that no one has any answers to the phenomenon makes it worse. They blame the government for not having any answers.

It all boils down to the question of who The Returned are.

From the small amount I've read, there seems to be a religious aspect to this book. The book isn't necessarily shoving religion down our throats but I think it's trying to give a different perspective.

In the end this story, I believe, is about second chances, for this family, maybe for humanity.
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on 7 July 2015
The title intrigued me and I found the story telling compulsive and thought provoking, what would it be like to meet my loved ones again even just for a short time. I look forward to reading more by this author.
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on 27 October 2013
This isn't the sort of book I would usually jump at the chance to read, but reading the description intrigued me and made me want to read it. As I started to read, I realised that it wasn't really what I was expecting, although I'm not sure what else I had been expecting in a book about people coming back from the dead years later. It isn't zombie-esque, but the "returnings" causes the world to go into utter meltdown. This book is about the story of a particular community and how they cope, or don't cope as the case may be.

It doesn't really focus on the people coming back in the way I had expected - as in they didn't have deep and meaningful conversations about how much they've missed each other, and what caused their is more about the world's reaction to their return.

Having started reading, and immediately thought that perhaps this wasn't for me after all, I continued and actually really enjoyed it. It isn't the sort of book that you can lie in bed at night and dream about it happening to you, but it was enjoyable. It kept me turning the pages and at times, it was very moving.

I'm not particularly religious, and so I couldn't necessarily relate to that element of the book, but I see how it was important and I respect that. It is about faith, and how different people react when confronted with the same situation. It's also about love, and the things people do; things they never thought they would. All in all, enjoyable I thought.
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