I won this book thanks to Laura Kenyon over at Skipping Midnight (www.laurakenyon.com) when she hosted an interview of Jason Mott! Mr. Mott sent me an autographed copy, with a handwritten note inside also. He seems very cool, down-to-earth, and lives in the same state as I!
The premise of this novel grabbed my attention immediately. People all over the world, returning from the dead, but not in a zombie like sense. What would you do, how would you react, if someone you love came back from the dead, locked in the time/age of when they died? Would you panic, and shut them out? Would you welcome them with open arms, just knowing it was really, truly, them? I would probably be freaked out at first, but I would want to cherish the moments that seemed like God giving me a fleeting second chance. This book shows the varying reactions and emotions of citizens in Arcadia as they start to see their loved ones returning from the grave. Harold and Lucille Hargrave are well up in years when their 8 year old boy, Jacob, who drowned in the river, returns home. The majority of this novel focuses on the Hargraves and how they are handling the situation, but there’s also little snippets of other Returned that were very interesting. One brief page showed Nazi soldiers that died in war, and returned to another war, only to die again.
I felt the first 100 pages were very slow getting into, too much *stuff* that could have been left out, but by about pages 200 and on I was devouring this book, and cried at the end. (The Author’s Note made me cry as well!) I felt the ending was perfect. Mr. Mott did an excellent job of creating a small town southern atmosphere, complete with colloquialisms, faith in God, and a sense of community, be it with those who sided with the True Living, or the Returned and their supporters. Aside from the slow start, the only other issue I had (which isn’t really an issue, just a question) is why the the Returned come back? Was it just to have second chances with their loved ones? Or to remind others that life is short so make the most out of it? I didn’t catch that there was a concrete purpose for the Returned to actually return, but I still enjoyed this book!
Thank you again, to Mr. Jason Mott for the opportunity to read this wonderful book, and to Laura for the chance on her blog! I recommend checking this book out ASAP! Also, Mr. Mott has a book coming out in September, The Wonder of All Things, that sounds equally fantastic!