This book came to my attention because it is getting a lot of buzz. The Returned is being adapted as a TV series by ABC. I read interviews by the author and was intrigued by the premise of his story: What would happen if people began to return from the dead? Your loved ones and maybe some who were not so loved. What would you do? Why did this occur? I had to find out, so when the opportunity to read The Returned presented itself, I jumped at the chance.
Harold and Lucy Hargrove are shocked to find their son, Jacob, who died on his eighth birthday in 1966, standing on their doorstep. They don't know what to make of it. Is he a miracle or a devil? People all over the world are asking themselves the same questions, with varied and mixed reactions!
I watched the trailer for this book and the whole feel was weird and maybe a tad creepy. I didn't know what to make of the story myself, so I had to plunge into it.
As I read, I keep waiting for the big answer. Why was this happening? That question was in the back of my mind the whole time. As the story proceeded, I found it interesting, but I became a bit disappointed because it was not turning out to be the big, epic, grandiose tale I was expecting. It was proceeding along rather quietly and I was able to put it down several times. It stayed in the back of my mind, though, and I knew I had to finish it. I had to know where it was all leading.
The tale begins to pick up speed. An entire murdered family "returns" and some people are not happy about it. They are intent on sending them back to the grave. Lucy and Harold Hargrove have other plans. The whole world is in a tizzy. Governments have to decide what to do with these newly "undead" people. It may not be what you would expect. The world reaction certainly threw me for a loop.
You really have to read this story for yourself. The author developed his idea for this story after he dreamed about his deceased mother returning from the dead. It was his hope that this book would be thought-provoking and indeed help people to consider their own feelings and perhaps deal with unresolved issues considering their dearly departed.
I found myself in tears for one brief moment and I believe I understood the author's intent. We each have to confront the end of life and what that means for each of us.
The Returned is epic in an unexpected and gentle way. It sneaks up on you and pulls you into exploring death and ultimately the meaning of life. Read it.
The Returned releases August 27, 2013 by Harlequin Mira.