Tag Archives: resurrection

Beautifully written and compelling

My biggest regret? Not being able to say goodbye to my father before he passed away.

It all happened so quickly. One minute he was going to be okay and I needn’t have to rush to the hospital and the next it didn’t look like he’d make it home. He died while I was stuck on Highway Seven in rush hour traffic, just as I went through an underpass. I know because I had a feeling and I checked the time. When I got to the hospital I learned his time of death was within minutes of my “feeling.”

My second biggest regret? Not going with my mother to visit my grandmother in the convalescent home in the days before she died because it was boring.

I’ve often thought in the twelve years since my dad died and the thirty-five years or so since my grandmother died that I’d like to have that one last chance to say goodbye.

This is the exact sentiment Jason Mott explores in his novel The Returned.

In The Returned, eight year old Jacob returns to his parents, Lucille and Harold, almost fifty years after his death by drowning in the river behind their house. Lucille welcomes him with open arms. Harold is suspicious of his son’s return as he is of all those who have returned without explanation and seemingly without purpose. When the government begins arresting the returned and warehousing them in internment camps, Harold accompanies his son, grows closer to him, and discovers a kinship with those who have returned, as well as with their families.

Part “In the Flesh” (minus the zombies), part “The 4400”, The Returned is a beautifully written and compelling read, so long as you have willing suspension of disbelief enough to forget about why the dead have returned and simply accept the fact that they have. The overall theme of the book illustrates patterns in history, and that we are doomed to repeat ourselves. Case in point, warehousing millions of Jews in concentration camps during World War II and the establishment of Japanese internment camps later in the century. The comparison with these events in the novel is interesting but heavy handed at times, like when a Jewish couple attempts to hide a handful of returned German soldiers on their property. The soldiers are portrayed as innocents, caught up in something in which they have no say, acting as society demands of them, until they are taken outside and shot for their compliance in the war.

The Returned is being made into an American television series called “Resurrection” (the trailer is available on YouTube and it looks amazing), but given the track record of similar series, I don’t know how successful it will be. I know I’ll be watching it, for no other reason than I like the honesty and emotion of the novel and the ultimate message, how society treats “the other” with a combination of demonization and/or segregation and how one man, Harold, grows to overcome his prejudice of “the other” and learns no matter our stories of origin, we are all just people; we are all the same.

THE REVENANT – Plot Synopsis

NaNoWriMo begins tomorrow. I am enjoying participating in the online forums on their web page at nanowrimo.org in the mean time. One of the forums asks that you post your plot synopsis for critique and then critique the synopsis of the person who has posted before you. In doing this, I came up with an amazing synopsis for the novel I plan to finish over the next month called THE REVENANT.

In case you don’t know, a revenant, is someone who has died as a result of violence with unfinished business and who comes back to complete the business. The legend of the revenant goes hand in hand with vampire lore in that many revenants were also thought to have been vampires.

In THE REVENANT, Janke, a farm boy, is thrown and trampled by his horse on the way to elope with Alma, his sweetheart. Shunned by his family when he rises after his funeral, he roams the country until he meets The Seer (a man who is able to see the future in his life span) in modern times. He reinvents himself as Zulu. Still searching for his beloved Alma, he joins The Seer in his quest to save the people he sees die in his dreams. At the same time, Malchus, The Seer’s brother, a powerful necromancer, is inadvertantly ripped from hell by teens experimenting with a Ouija board. Malchus has one goal in mind—to exact revenge on his twin brother Morgan—now known as “The Seer”—for killing him all those years ago. Joined by empath Kat, the group of three learns of Morgan’s resurrection and they gear up for the battle of their lives to save the city, and the world in which they live from Malchus’s evil.

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