Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Returned by Jason Mott

by Anita Mae Draper

This past May 14th I saw this tweet go by from Love Inspired Assistant Editor Rachel Burkot:

Rachel Burkot @Rachel_Burkot
Trailer for RESURRECTION, the ABC show based on The Returned by Jason Mott, out in September from Harlequin MIRA!

What struck me was that another Harlequin author was hitting the big time and this time it was a male.  But since I consider the MIRA imprint to be mainstream Women's Fiction, I was curious so I clicked on the link which brought me to The Resurrection's Facebook page with the Official Trailer...

Well, that certainly caught my eye! Intrigued, I began to investigate.

The Resurrection is the ABC pilot show based on the MIRA novel, The Returned, the debut book of poet Jason Mott

Book Blurb: 
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, their wounds tempered through the grace of time…. Until one day Jacob mysteriously appears on their doorstep—flesh and blood, their sweet, precocious child, 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 center of a community on the brink of collapse, forced to navigate a mysterious new reality and a conflict that threatens to unravel the very meaning of what it is to be human. 

Mr. Mott attributes the inspiration for this story to a vivid dream he had of talking with his deceased grandmother. From reading the comments on YouTube, some feel this story is similar to the film, Flight of the Navigator. And yet I seem to vaguely remember a recent TV series closely resembling this but the details elude me. Regardless of how familiar the story line sounds, I've seen enough to know this book and show are unique.

The Resurrection Facebook Page says, "What if someone you lost returned as if not a single day has gone by? Resurrection will make you question everything you believe."

Will it? I am uneasy with one aspect of this story. The excerpt mentions scripture about the earth giving up its dead, so I went looking and found this verse:

But your dead will live, Lord;
    their bodies will rise—
let those who dwell in the dust
    wake up and shout for joy—
your dew is like the dew of the morning;
    the earth will give birth to her dead.
Isaiah 26:19 New International Version (NIV)

As well, if you search the web and the YouTube site for The Resurrection, you'll find this title has been used several times - mostly with the horror tag attached to it. I don't watch horror. 

I congratulate Jason Mott on his debut novel as well as for making the giant leap to TV. I'll be watching the ABC pilot with interest.

What have you heard of this project? 

Has it piqued your interest? 

Have you watched the trailer?

Have you read the excerpt?

Please share your thoughts.

Remember, you have until 11:59 tonight to leave a comment including your email address on Monday's post to be entered to win a copy of Debra Clopton's Her Rodeo Man.


Anita Mae Draper is retired from the Canadian Armed Forces and lives on the prairie of southeast Saskatchewan, Canada with her hubby of 30 plus years and 2 of their 4 kids. She writes stories set on the prairies of Saskatchewan, North Dakota, Montana and Wyoming. Anita Mae has semi-finaled in the Historical Romance category of the ACFW's 2011 Genesis contest and finaled in the Inspirational category of the 2011 Daphne du Maurier, the 2011 Fool for Love, the 2011 Duel on the Delta and 2009 Linda Howard Award of Excellence contests. Anita Mae's short story, "Riding on a Christmas Wish" will appear in A Christmas Cup of Cheer, Guideposts Books, October 2013. Anita Mae is represented by Mary Keeley of Books and Such Literary Agency. You can find Anita at


  1. It gives me goose bumps. Yes, I'm intrigued. Uncertain, but intrigued. I wouldn't have thought of Flight of the Navigator, but now that you mention it...yeah, kinda.

  2. I hadn't heard a thing about this project, Anita. It sounds like an interesting concept, but not one that I would necessarily make room in my schedule for. Although I do have questions, like are all the dead back? Are they normal? I mean, do they need to eat and so on? If so it seems impossible that the world could sustain the influx for long. How did they get out of their graves? Overall, it sounds like a benign twist on the whole zombie phase that has seized the modern imagination.

  3. I hadn't heard of it either, but I'm culturally illiterate. :D

    Intriguing premise. Cool to see an author get his story on TV and stuff. :D

  4. Good questions, Lisa. I hadn't thought about the over-population issue. I hope it isn't a zombie story.

  5. Suzie and Lisa, I hadn't thought of the over-population issue, either.

    I'm not sure about the rest of the Returned, but I thought 8 yr old Jacob was never found. If that's the case for all the others, there are no graves to open.

  6. I don't like zombie shows - wasn't even crazy about Castle when they had their zombie episode.

    About the eating habits of the Returned... isn't it in the excerpt where Jacob wanted a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or something?

  7. Suzie and Lisa, I hadn't thought of the over-population issue, either.

    I'm not sure about the rest of the Returned, but I thought 8 yr old Jacob was never found. If that's the case for all the others, there are no graves to open.

  8. So then do only the people who weren't buried come back? What if they drowned? Oh so many questions. But then, Joel says I pick things apart too much. Which is probably true.

  9. Well Lisa, little Jacob supposedly drowned and he came back.

    I really have no answers. The excerpt mentioned people coming back all over the world without explaining why they were picked. But then, they don't want to give away the story in the trailer/excerpt or what would be left to entice us to watch/read?

    Also, I'm wondering if this isn't so much a who/why they come back, but a will you accept those who do? It seems to me the trailer and blurb are asking if you can accept on faith that this could happen.

    Like the show that's on tv now about What Would You Do? or something like that.


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