Monday Mini ~ The Returned by Jason Mott

MondayMini3Getting back into the swing of things each week is hard. So is finding the quiet time to write a review over the weekend. In order to ease out of the weekend, I’ve decided to begin my blogging week with a mini review.

Late last fall my husband began watching a French television series being broadcast by IFC called “The Returned.” I frequently read at night in the living room and can tune out the television as needed. There was something about this show that kept grabbing my attention even though I had to read the sub-titles. I finally got tired of asking my husband what was happening or why a character said what was said. Like the book I’m reviewing today, it dealt with formerly dead family members returning from the dead. I started watching it myself from the beginning and was fascinated. So, when I received an email from a publicist who works with Audible titles, I couldn’t pass up a chance to give Jason Mott’s The Returned a listen.

The Returned by Jason MottCover of The Returned
Harlequin MIRA ~ August 27, 2013 ~ 352 pages
Audible ~ Tom Stechschulte ~ 9 hours 48 minutes

After the death of their eight-year-old son Jacob decades earlier, Harold and Lucille Hargrave’s coping mechanisms protected them from life to the point where they really weren’t a couple anymore. They were doing little more than just existing in their golden years together. When a government official shows up on their doorsteps with news that their son had been found and that he was still eight-years-old, they found themselves forced to some how form a family bond once again. What I enjoyed the most about this book was the way in which these two characters are forced to grow again as human beings because of Jacob. To me, that was where the true meaning and power in this novel was found.

From an audiobook perspective, this was my first Tom Stechschulte listen and I thoroughly enjoyed his work. His Lucille made me smile each time she spoke. I would be disappointed if he didn’t narrate the series as it continues unless a change is needed due to the way the subsequent novels are written.

This novel isn’t a traditional kind of zombie novel and that may very well by why it appealed to me. Don’t read this book for the zombies. Read it for a powerful story about what it means to be alive and to live.



  • At 2014.03.03 06:54, Sandy said:

    It is definitely a plot that makes you stop and think. I’ve had the book on my list for quite awhile, but I’d heard in several reviews that while it is good idea, it never really went anywhere. (Although I REALLY like Stechschulte as a narrator!) I may watch it when it debuts on TV here soon, and see if I am motivated to read it or not.

    • At 2014.03.03 10:24, Jennifer said:

      I guess that kind of depends on what people mean by going anywhere. This was much more about characters than plot and I was fine with that. Stechschulte was fantastic. If you already love him, you should definitely keep your eyes open for this at your library. I’m curious to see how the TV show works out. I just started seeing commercials last night. The actors who are playing Harold and Lucille are excellently cast in my opinion.

    • At 2014.03.03 10:57, Amy @ My Friend Amy said:

      ha, I am just about finished watching The Returned!

      I didn’t really like this book….I felt like the idea was good, but execution lacking. Even so, I think maybe the TV show can iron some of that out and really delve into the situation more deeply. And, I think it will be different enough from (the French) The Returned which so far seems localized while this one is global.

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      • At 2014.03.03 14:37, Kailana said:

        hm. I will add it to my wish list and see about getting a copy at some point. I am doing bad at audios lately.

        • At 2014.03.03 15:09, Anita said:

          Loved the book, found the author fascinating and I can’t wait for the TV show…ha ha. I think that covers it. Glad you enjoyed the audio.

          (Required, will not be published)

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