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Jason Mott

Jason MottJason Mott lives in southeastern North Carolina. He has a BFA in Fiction and an MFA in Poetry, both from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. His poetry and fiction has appeared in various literary journals. He was nominated for a 2009 Pushcart Prize award and Entertainment Weekly listed him as one of their 10 “New Hollywood: Next Wave” people to watch. He is the author of two poetry collections: We Call This Thing Between Us Love and “…hide behind me…” The Returned is his first novel. The Returned has also been optioned by Brad Pitt’s production company, Plan B, in association with Brillstein Entertainment and ABC. It will air in March, 2014 on the ABC network under the title “Resurrection.”

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The Returned

The Returned — (2013) Publisher: “Jacob was time out of sync, time more perfect than it had been. He was life the way it was supposed to be all those years ago. That’s what all the Returned were.” Harold and Lucille Hargrave’s lives have been both joyful and sorrowful in the decades since their only son, Jacob, died tragically at his eighth birthday party in 1966. In their old age they’ve settled comfortably into life without him, their wounds healed through the grace of time…. Until one day Jacob mysteriously appears on their doorstep—flesh and blood, their sweet, precocious child, still eight years old. All over the world people’s loved ones are returning from beyond. No one knows how or why this is happening, whether it’s a miracle or a sign of the end. Not even Harold and Lucille can agree on whether the boy is real or a wondrous imitation, but one thing they know for sure: he’s their son. As chaos erupts around the globe, the newly reunited Hargraves find themselves at the center of a community on the brink of collapse, forced to navigate a mysterious new reality and a conflict that threatens to unravel the very meaning of what it is to be human. With spare, elegant prose and searing emotional depth, Jason Mott explores timeless questions of faith and morality, love and responsibility. A spellbinding and stunning debut, The Returned is an unforgettable story that marks the arrival of an important new voice in contemporary fiction.

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The Returned: Worthy of a recommendation, but not a fervent one

Readers’ average rating:

The Returned by Jason Mott

The Returned, by Jason Mott, is a solid enough novel, capably told for the most part, but which nonetheless left me feeling unsatisfied in that it seemed like it just didn't quite meet up with its full potential. The premise is pretty simple to sum up: one day the dead start returning, seemingly wholly alive (this is not a zombie novel). While this obviously will have major societal and global ramifications, The Returned is almost exclusively focused on the much more personal impact this mystifying event has on a small town and a handful of people. Its major focus, in fact, is on a single family: Harold and Lucille and their son Jacob, whom they lost years ago at the age of eight. Now he has returned, the same age, though his parents are decades older. In between the chapters relating to events in the town, we get glimpses at other Returned elsewhere in the wo... Read More

SFM: Lawrence, Vaughn, Kressel, Baggott, Mott, Veter, Clarke

Short Fiction Monday: Our weekly exploration of free and inexpensive short fiction available on the internet. Here are a few stories that caught our eyes this week.



“The Secret” by Mark Lawrence (2015, $1.95 at Audible)


I haven’t read Mark Lawrence’s BROKEN EMPIRE series yet, but after reading “The Secret,” I definitely want to. This story gives some background into Brother Sim, an assassin who is part of Jorg Ancrath’s brotherhood. Brother Sim has snuck into a princess’s bedroom (invited) and is telling her the story of an assassin. I saw where this story was going, but I didn’t care. I liked Lawrence’s storytelling style and I was intrigued by Brother Sim. I want to know more about his origins and his goals and motivations. I wan... Read More