The Returned

The Returned

Book - 2013
Average Rating:
Rate this:
When their son Jacob, who died tragically at his 8th birthday party in 1966, arrives on their doorstep, still 8 years old, Harold and Lucille Hargrave must navigate a strange new reality as chaos erupts around the world as people's loved ones are returned from beyond.
Publisher: Don Mills, Ontario :, Harlequin MIRA,, 2013.
ISBN: 9780778315339
Branch Call Number: FICTION Mott Jason 08/2013
Characteristics: 340 pages ;,23 cm.


From Library Staff

JCLBethanyT Oct 04, 2013

I can't decide if The Returned is gateway literary for genre fans or gateway genre for literary fans, but either way, it's one of the must reads of this year. With such a compelling premise, Mott has (and takes the time) to examine what life means to those who have it and those who have again. ... Read More »

From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
ontherideau Feb 01, 2015

A bit bleak but thought provoking for an open mind.

Jan 11, 2015

This isn't, as you might expect, a thriller about the dead returning to their lives. It is actually a reflective commentary on death, grief, memory, and renewal. Well-written and engaging.

Dec 14, 2014

I watched some of the tv. series which I did not like that much so tried the book instead. Found the book rather dull too. If you want a really good series with a similar theme watch Les Revenants (The Returned) which is a French series and is fantastic.

Dec 09, 2014

I enjoyed this book. I am also enjoying Resurrection, the tv series inspired by it. Harold and Lucille mourned their eight-year-old son for fifty years, and suddenly here he is on their doorstep. He and hundreds of thousands of other dearly departed are turning up alive and apparently well. What happens as they crowd into the lives of the living is the story here. No one knows why or how this happened or whether the Returned are really the same people who died, but they all have to cope with the new reality. The elderly couple become parents to a child and life is never the same. It was interesting to share the thoughts of each of them and watch them face each new twist. The author writes an afterward about his own experience with having his mother visit him in a dream some time after she died. He says this dream was so real he could not shake the feelings it gave him, and that led to his writing this novel.

ChristyH May 07, 2014

I read this after watching a few episodes of the TV show "Resurrection" because I thought the premise was so interesting. Ultimately I felt like there were too many unanswered questions in the book. It's like the author also thought bringing people back from the dead was a great idea, but he didn't really want to get too heavily into the details of how it happened. I still enjoyed the book but felt like the author could have done more with the story.

Mar 25, 2014

This book could have been so much better. It was as if the author had this truly intriguing idea, but didn't want to bother himself with the details. With a premise like this, it's the details, and answers to questions, that were foremost in my mind. I found that these were either skimmed over or totally ignored. BTW: if someone who was mysteriously murdered returned, wouldn't one of the very FIRST questions you would ask is "who killed you?"

KateHillier Feb 25, 2014

I'm not surprised that there are so many TV series adapting this book, or at least the idea. It's a neat one. People start coming back from the dead with no real rhyme or reason. The government first is trying to deal with the influx of people (there is an international agency dedicated to dealing with these people and getting them home if they're wanted) and then, naturally, people go a little crazy.

We stick with Harold whose eight year old son, dead since 1966, is one of the Returned. At first, when the events start happening, his wife thinks these people as devils while Harold doesn't really have an opinion. Once Jacob appears at their door Lucille embraces her son while Harold compares him to a photocopy of a person he once knew.

There's a lot of questions and not a whole lot of answers and that's whether we're talking about the Returned or the responses to them. There are people who don't want to meet the Returned, people who want them dead again, and people who just want to cherish them for whatever time they have them back for. It's a very human story and reminds us of that all important fact that we all tend to not think about: no one lives forever and we should cherish whatever time we have with those we love in whatever form we have it.

Jan 28, 2014

Interesting premise: What of those departed suddenly began to return, just as they were when they passed away? It isn't as loving as it sounds. This novel explores what becomes of a small town when hundred of Returneds are relocated there. The story reminded me of Stephen King's Under the Dome. I'm not surprised this will soon be a TV series. The story moves slowly and the end doesn't necessarily resolve anything, but the author seemed to use this as a way to resolve the departure of his own mother.

larrybmovie Jan 06, 2014

OK book, but the premise is the same as a Japanese movie called "Yomigaeri: Resurrection": the dead come back to life I can't decide if Mott came up with this independently or ripped it off, but I'll give him the benefit of the doubt. I thought the movie was a lot better, though.

ChristchurchLib Oct 21, 2013

"Long-deceased persons have been showing up, hale and hearty, all over the globe, causing consternation among folks who worry who's going to feed and clothe them. Jacob Hargrave died on his eighth birthday in 1966, but an agent of the bureau tasked with reuniting returned persons with their families has shown up on the Hargrave doorstep decades later, 8-year-old Jacob in tow. Jacob's parents, now in their eighties, must learn to navigate a strange new reality even as the world around them struggles with questions that range from the spiritual to the political. A great "what-if" novel, The Returned is a "beautiful meditation on what it means to be human" (Booklist)." Fiction A to Z October 2013 newsletter

View All Comments


Add a Summary
Jul 30, 2014

An 8 year-old boy who died 50 years ago has returned... along with millions of others around the world who had been long dead. It is NOT a zombie story but demonstrates what happens when the world is literally turned upside down for the "returned" and their families.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at My Library

To Top