Everyone knows that death is final…but what if it weren’t? My novel, The Returned, explores what would happen if people’s loved ones returned from beyond and tried to reunite with those they left behind. How would we feel? I lost my mother in 2001, and I’d do anything to have her back. But as elating as it would be to have a second chance with those we love, I think it would be naive to believe that it would come without consequences and complications. It’s an emotional minefield.
We are all created and revised, each and every day, by the people in our lives. When someone we care about passes away, a certain part of ourselves is lost with them. Every human connection is inimitable, and so we ache at the passing of those we care for while simultaneously mourning the loss of a certain part of ourselves. To have people suddenly return, as within The Returned, is to resurrect those parts of ourselves that we have left behind. And, in many cases, that reemergence of old, forgotten feelings conflicts with the lives we now live.
This novel attempts to raise questions about love, loss and coping. But, even beyond that, I hope that this novel begins conversations. The concept of loss—and all of its ramifications in our lives—is something we all encounter and react to differently, but that does not mean we are condemned to face it alone. With The Returned my hope is that readers will find something of themselves within the pages and want to share that with those in their lives—past and present.
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