The Return

The Return

Book - 2020
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A group of friends reunite after one of them has returned from a mysterious two-year disappearance in this edgy and haunting debut.

Julie is missing, and no one believes she will ever return--except Elise. Elise knows Julie better than anyone, and feels it in her bones that her best friend is out there and that one day Julie will come back. She's right. Two years to the day that Julie went missing, she reappears with no memory of where she's been or what happened to her.

Along with Molly and Mae, their two close friends from college, the women decide to reunite at a remote inn. But the second Elise sees Julie, she knows something is wrong--she's emaciated, with sallow skin and odd appetites. And as the weekend unfurls, it becomes impossible to deny that the Julie who vanished two years ago is not the same Julie who came back. But then who--or what--is she?
Publisher: New York : Berkley, 2020.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780593098660
Branch Call Number: HORROR HARRISON
Characteristics: viii, 296 pages ; 24 cm


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"A group of friends reunite after one of them has returned from a mysterious two-year disappearance in this edgy and haunting debut."

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WPL_Jaclyn Feb 07, 2021

The Return is kind of a horror story, but it’s also a book featuring a complex friendship between four friends. That friendship and all of its closeness, hidden jealousies, and intricacies was depicted so well. What I found less compelling was the horror element. I expected to be more scared! So, ultimately this is horror for readers who don’t really like horror (but are okay with gore).

Oct 21, 2020

Effective pacing and a knack for ratcheting creepy vibes makes this a page-turner! A group of friends embark on a reunion at an isolated hotel when one of their own returns from a 2-year disappearance. Good writing and overall absorbing tale, a nice pick for a Halloween read. 4 stars.

JCLS_Ashland_Kristin Sep 21, 2020

New adult (meaning featuring 20-something leads) and gothic-y horror. If those 2 things appeal, this book will likely also appeal. I was not the exact right reader for this book,

Jul 31, 2020

Fantastic horror/psychological thriller hybrid. Eager for more after this superb debut!

RandomLibrarian Mar 24, 2020

Review expert: "Oh guys, I cannot handle creepy books, and this was a creepy book, and not a romance, and also gross and scary. It was also a book that I devoured in a single day and could not get out of my mind. I was sold on this book by the promise of feminist horror, and that’s what I got, so if feminist horror is your jam then you will probably like this book about four friends and a very bad hotel."

Mar 19, 2020

If a Ruth Ware book and a Stephen King book had a baby, it would be this debut novel by Rachel Harrison. I was captivated by the relationship dynamics of the four women. All four had baggage from their past experiences and most importantly had been dealing with Julie's disappearance in different ways. Then Julie returns and they gather at the Red Honey Inn. The inn is a character all its own and as the weekend begins unraveling we do not know how many of the spooky occurrences are the setting or the strange new being that is Julie. Horror is not my favorite genre, but this one kept me reading. If it had been a movie, my hands would have been over my eyes with fingers separating to glimpse the action on the screen. It also reminded me of Little Darlings by Melanie Golding. I am definitely going to be watching for Harrison's next title.

Mar 10, 2020

The Return is a horror novel. I want to get that right up front because the description doesn't make that clear at all. If I'd known what I was getting into, I never would have picked the book up at all because I do not read horror. Nevertheless, I read it all the way through, even when the creepy parts started happening, the scenes I don't want to remember, even when I cringed, I kept reading. It pulled me along, page after page. I couldn't put it down.
The Return is about four young women, best friends since college. Much of the first part explores their relationship to each other, the deep connections and memories they share. They are in their late twenties and have scattered across the country. They gather at a strange hotel in the woods to celebrate the return of Julie, who has been missing for two years and is miraculously returned. It's supposed to be a joyous reunion, but Julie is changed. The narrator, Elise, was Julies roommate. They were closer than sisters, shared every part of their lives, every secret with each other. Elise desperately wants to find that deep connection again, and tries to ignore Julie's strange behavior.


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