Saturday, July 13, 2013

A Book Report

A few weeks ago I received an email from Netgalley. The email mentioned that this book will be THE book EVERYONE will be talking about this summer. If everyone is going to be talking about it, well, I certainly wanted to weigh in on the conversation. So I requested it.

Donna Hayes, the Publisher and Chief Executive Officer, writes a letter to the reader that lends credence to the impending hype. She writes, "...a story so powerful that I am moved to personally bring it to your attention." She adds, "What ensues is at once a captivating story and a poignant examination of the human condition." She is not wrong.

Jason Mott's premise is a simple one. What would you do if your dead loved one suddenly returned?

In the southern town of Arcadia, Harold Hargrave opens his door one afternoon to find a government agent on his doorstep. With the agent is a familiar looking 8 year old boy. It's his son Jacob, who drowned in the river 50 years earlier. Jacob has suddenly Returned. In fact, all over the world the dead are Returning.

I was fascinated. Harold and Lucille certainly grieved the loss of Jacob, but in the years since, there grew a quiet acceptance. How does one handle this miraculous interruption to life that has gone on? Of course, Lucille embraces her son while Harold remains aloof. Slowly, and at Lucille's insistence, Harold warms up to Jacob.

At the same time there are so many Returned that governments are unable to control the escalating situation. This eventually leads to military presence for the arrest and detention of all Returned. Schools, offices, lots and homes are requisitioned as containment centers. The fear is that too soon the Returned will outnumber the True Living.

I became frustrated with the middle third of the book, which deals with Harold and Jacob living at the Arcadia containment center. This part begins the "poignant examination of the human condition" that Ms. Hayes writes. For me, the story began to drag and I found myself skimming the pages rather than giving my full attention. It wasn't until Lucille decided to take out-of-character action that the pacing began to pick up. After that it was indeed a page turner right up to the end.

I've been thinking about this book all day, so again, Ms. Hayes is correct. I certainly have been captivated. And while I'm not sure the story was "so powerful," I can tell you that I am hugging my 11 year old son more tightly today.

ABC has turned the book into a series. I will be watching Resurrection this fall. You can watch the YouTube trailer here.

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