Monday, September 16, 2013

Giveaway and TLC Book Review - The Returned by Jason Mott

The Returned by Jason Mott
Harlequin, 2013

Format? paperback
Source? the publisher via TLC Book Tours
**FTC Disclosure - the publisher provided me a complimentary copy of The Returned in exchange for an honest review.  The review below and the opinions therein are my own and offered without bias.

Small town Arcadia.  A writer from North Carolina who's a poet and a first novel that's already been picked up by Brad Pitt's production company?  Yes, please.

What Now?
The publisher is generously offering one reader in the U.S. or Canada an opportunity to win a copy of The Returned.  Just leave your name, blog address, and email in the Comments section.  (no P.O. Boxes).

Golden Lines

"There are support groups," the Bureau man said.  "Support groups for the Returned.  And support groups for the families of the Returned." He smiled. (17)

 Dear Mr. Robert Peters
The International Bureau of the Returned would like to inform you that you are being actively sought after by one of the Returned by the name of Elizabeth Pinch. (65)

He removed the photograph from the sticky film. It smelled of old glue and mildew.  That night, for the first time since her death, he wept. (122)

"What the reverend means to say," the scientist began, adjusting his tie as he spoke, "is that these events are beyond the realm of religion..."This is a scientific matter now." (188-189)

"Our top story today coming out of Romania, where the government has ruled that the Returned are not inherently afforded civil rights, declaring that they are simply 'unique' and therefore not subject to the same protections as others." (227)

The detention center of Meridian, Mississippi, allowed some mingling between the True Living and the Returned. (259).

"You just saw a chance to do something you always wanted to do, and you did it.  You always been a hothead, and with the world the way it is now, you finally get to be the hothead you've always wanted to be." (308)


All over the world the dead are returning to their same bodies and looking exactly the same as they did before they died. There is no explanation, no history, no plan, nothing.  The government steps in to control the situation that very quickly is becoming out of control.  Who are the Returned?  Are they the same family members who've been long gone? Or, are they something else?  How long will they stay? And, what will they do when they go?
Will the world accept them?
Or not?

What I Liked

Harold and Lucille - they were very real to me, this couple who truly loves each other, complete with constant bickering and their very traditional relationship.

the intermittant stories of the Returned around the world

Science vs religion
Religion vs science
But, nobody wins.

What I Didn't Like

Colonel Willis - an early Hitler
Fred Green - what hate and grief can create

Overall Recommendation

While The Returned sounds as if it's some other world story of the paranormal, it's not.  The Returned is so much more.  It's a story of love, and people, and what we do to each other, how some lessons are never completely learned, and how we don't always get a second chance to make things right. And, even more importantly, I thought, The Returned is about how those 2nd chances we can have are not always what they're cracked up to be.  
A deeply touching novel.

Other Stops on the Tour

Monday, August 26th:  Jenn’s Bookshelves
Tuesday, August 27th:  Rinn Reads
Tuesday, August 27th:  River City Reading
Wednesday, August 28th:  Bookalicious Mama
Wednesday, August 28th:  From the TBR Pile
Thursday, August 29th:  Peeking Between the Pages
Friday, August 30th:  Adventures of an Intrepid Reader
Monday, September 2nd:  Col Reads
Tuesday, September 3rd:  Man of La Book
Wednesday, September 4th:  Books Speak Volumes
Thursday, September 5th:  BookChickDi
Friday, September 6th:  Sara’s Organized Chaos
Monday, September 9th:  No More Grumpy Bookseller
Tuesday, September 10th:  Mockingbird Hill Cottage
Wednesday, September 11th:  Simply Stacie
Thursday, September 12th:  A Bookworm’s World
Friday, September 13th:  The Book Wheel
Monday, September 16th:  Peppermint Ph.D.
Tuesday, September 17th:  Unabridged Chick
Tuesday, September 17th:  Melissa Firman
Wednesday, September 18th:  Bewitched Bookworms
Thursday, September 19th:  A Bookish Way of Life
Friday, September 20th:  Luxury Reading
Friday, September 20th:  5 Minutes for Books
Monday, September 23rd:  Happy. Pretty. Sweet.
Tuesday, September 24th:  The Best Books Ever
Wednesday, September 25th:  Silver’s Reviews
Thursday, September 26th:  Between the Covers
Friday, September 27th:  Literally Jen
Monday, September 30th:  Julz Reads
Tuesday, October 1st:  Ageless Pages Reviews
Wednesday, October 2nd:  Book Addict Katie
Thursday, October 3rd:  Broken Teepee
Friday, October 4th:  A Novel Review
Monday, October 7th:  Guiltless Reading
Tuesday, October 8th:  Life in the Thumb
Wednesday, October 9th:  Laura’s Reviews