Sunday, September 22, 2013

The Returned

Author:  Jason Mott
Year:  2013
Publisher:  Audible, Inc.
Narrator:  Tom Stechschulte

Audible Description:
"Jacob was time out of sync, time more perfect than it had been. He was life the way it was supposed to be all those years ago. That's what all the Returned were."
Harold and Lucille Hargrave's lives have been both joyful and sorrowful in the decades since their only son, Jacob, died tragically at his eighth birthday party in 1966. In their old age they've settled comfortably into life without him, their wounds healed through the grace of time.... Until one day Jacob mysteriously appears on their doorstep - flesh and blood, their sweet, precocious child, still eight years old.
All over the world people's loved ones are returning from beyond. No one knows how or why this is happening, whether it's a miracle or a sign of the end. Not even Harold and Lucille can agree on whether the boy is real or a wondrous imitation, but one thing they know for sure: he's their son. As chaos erupts around the globe, the newly reunited Hargraves find themselves at the center of a community on the brink of collapse, forced to navigate a mysterious new reality and a conflict that threatens to unravel the very meaning of what it is to be human.
With spare, elegant prose and searing emotional depth, Jason Mott explores timeless questions of faith and morality, love and responsibility. A spellbinding and stunning debut, The Returned is an unforgettable story that marks the arrival of an important new voice in contemporary fiction.

I listened to both this book and the three short story prequels that went along with it. The prequels really intrigued me. I loved them and could wait to get more. We got a little bit of that feeling in The Returned but it was drug out a lot more and the story got fleshed out a lot. I thought the characters of Harold and Lucille were well developed. In truth, I think that what The Returned is - a story about characters because there's not a lot of plot. But what characters they are. I enjoyed it a lot. 

Tom Stechschulte is a great  narrator. I don't recall ever listening to any of his work before but I think he was terrific here and he will be a definite selling point on future audiobooks.


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