Jason Mott, haunted by the death of his parents and his self-acknowledged inadequate response to those deaths, tries to reconcile his feelings in The Returned. In the small town of Arcadia — the irony of that name is perfect — dead people are suddenly alive again, just as if their lives started back up again at the moment of their death. Harold and Lucille open their front door to find their eight-year-old son — who died in 1966 — alive and well again. In fact, people all around the world are discovering the same thing. Before long there are so many of "the returned" that the government deems them a threat and forces them into "internment" camps.
Mott asks more questions than he could possibly answer: Why are they coming back? Are they alive? Are they real? Are they the same people they were before? Are they a miracle or a curse? What do they remember about death? What would I do to have my loved one back? With a nod to "The Monkey's Paw" by Poe, possibly the most important question Mott asks is: Do I still want them?
Mott has an MFA in poetry and that fact shines through brightly here. Carefully written in precise, clear prose, Mott delivers a profound debut novel that will make you think. Recommended By Dianah H., Powells.com