My rating: 4.5 stars
What would you do if your dead friend/loved one all of a sudden showed up at your doorstep, many years later, maybe decades later?
I read this early on this year. This was a very good read. Not sure why I didn’t give it 5 stars, but something, very small, was lacking, although I can’t put my finger on what. Maybe I’ll need to rethink my rating, because I’m not sure what more I could have wanted. It was an easy read and kept me interested from the beginning. It also is a book that the more you think about it, the more you realize just how deep it goes, without you knowing that it has left many questions, many wonderings.
In the Author’s Note section of the book, jason mott writes:
“TWELVE years after my mother passed away, I can hardly remember the sound of her voice…In July 2010, a couple of weeks after the anniversary of my mother’s death, I dreamed of her. The dream was a simple one: I came home from work and she was there, at the dinner table, waiting for me. For the course of the entire dream, we simply talked. I told her about grad school and life in general since her death. She asked me why I still hadn’t settled down and started a family…
Not long after that, I cornered a friend over lunch and told him about my emotional unease…Sometime later in our lunch, as conversation was running low, my friend asked: ‘Can you imagine if she actually did come back, just for one night? And what if it wasn’t just her? What if it happened to other people, too?’
The Returned was born that day.”
Back to my first question: What would you do if your dead friend/loved one all of a sudden showed up at your doorstep?
No, seriously, think about that for longer than a second. What would you do? How would you welcome them back…or would you?
The dead do not age; you do. Time does not move on for them; it does for you. How and would they fit back into your life?
What if only some of the dead returned? What if your loved ones didn’t come back?
How would you feel as one of “The Returned”? Would the joy of being reconnected with the person/family you love, outweigh the disappointment of not being accepted back fully, of being viewed as “different”, “weird”, “strange”, “not one of us”?
I loved one passage in particular in this book; it has stayed with me for months:
” She thought then of what her mother had told her once about death. ‘Death is only the beginning of the reunion you did not know you wanted’.” (pg. 139-140)
The more I think about it, the deeper this book gets.