Narrated by Tom Stechschulte.
From the cover: 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. Until one day Jacob mysteriously appears on their doorstep, 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 Hargrave family finds itself at the centre of a mysterious new reality that threatens to unravel the very meaning of what it is to be human.
I haven’t seen the TV show, but the trailer for it caught my eye, so when this appeared on our Bolinda audio site I thought I’d check it out. Don’t worry, I haven’t included any spoilers if you are currently watching it!
If you’re are looking for the reason why the dead are returning, or how they return, or are asking yourself if they came from the grave how do they manage to be (a) clean, (b) in the same physical shape as they were before they died or (c) what if they were cremated, and (d) a zillion other questions this book engenders, then give up now. There are no explanations for anything that occurs. Talk about frustrating, you just have to accept the premise that the dead are returning and get on with it!
This quirky story doesn’t really end anywhere, it just meanders its slow Southern grind to a very predictable halt "is all" [how many times do they say that!!] … however, when you listen to the author’s note at the end you can finally see what he was trying to portray. The whole trouble is by the time you realise what it is, you’ve probably hurled your book out the window. And I've only just noticed - on the Bolinda site, it says 'The Returned' - Book 1. More to come?