What would you do if suddenly one of your loved ones who had died 10, 20 or even 50 years ago stood at your door alive and well? That’s the premise of The Returned, the debut novel by Jason Mott.
In 1966, Lucille and Harold Hargrave lost their only son Jacob on his eighth birthday when he drowned in a lake not far from where his party had taken place. Harold and friends set off to find Jacob and Harold carried Jacob's limp, dead body out of the lake. Fifty years later, an eight-year-old Jacob appears at their door with an agent of the International Bureau of the Returned, the agency handling those who have been recently returning from the dead.
Lucille and Harold have learned to live their lives after losing Jacob. They obviously missed seeing their son grow-up, and their lives were not the same without him. They are fifty years older and must learn to be parents again to a young boy.
Lucille writes in a note to Harold, "I don't know how this child, this second Jacob, came to be. But honestly, I don't care. He's given us something we never thought we could have again: a chance to remember what love is... A chance to love without fear."