I received a copy of The Returned via the first reads giveaway in exchange for a review.
Like many others the premise of the novel had my attention and coerced me into putting my name in the first reads free giveaway. This was the first novel that I have won and with that, I naturally had an increase positive bias for the feelings of this book from the first page. Unfortunately, this book did nothing to reinforce my bias and resulted in a rather dissatisfied reaction.
Suti, in an earlier review expressed a lot of reasons why this book failed to deliver. With Stuti, skimming is also a word that before this book was not in my vocabulary, I feel indebted to the author for taking the time to create interest that I must reciprocate and uphold my end of the agreement. The dullness in the middle of the story just made me long for the ending, which in turn was executed very well.
The stories of the other characters were very enthralling and showcases many emotional states that the returnees as well as their families experienced. The first night in bed with this story I bookmarked it after reading the snippet of Angela Johnson.
"The floors of the guest bedroom in which she had been locked for the past three days were hardwood and beautiful. When they brought her meals, she tried not to spill anything, not wanting to ruin the floor and compound her punishment for whatever she had done wrong."
"She sat in the corner with her knees pulled to her chest, crying just a little, sorry for whatever she had done, not understanding any of this."
I was very intrigued at the possibilities as they seemed endless, I could not wait to sleep so I could get back up and start reading again.
I wish the presence of humor was more consistent throughout the novel as I felt it brought a little levity to an otherwise heavy topic. The back and forth banter between husband and wife was one I could relate to while in difficult times.
The beginning and end were solid, the middle needed some relief. In retrospect I think it would have been beneficial to have a little understanding of the Hargreaves family dynamic before Jacob died and how that event altered their own personalities for better or worse.
All in all I am thankful for getting the opportunity to reading and reviewing this book and wish Jason Mott the best of luck with the television pilot and all his other works.