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The descendants by Kaui Hart Hemmings
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The descendants (2007)

by Kaui Hart Hemmings

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English (38)  Dutch (1)  All languages (39)
Showing 1-5 of 38 (next | show all)
I watched the movie first and fell in love with it--the cinematography, the writing, the cast. I didn't realize it was a book until last year, and so I went out and bought it.

The plot in the movie is pretty true to Hemmings' book: It follows Matt King and his immediate family following the trail of the deceased and the soon-to-be. It's mostly real; however, I think Sid's character is over-the-top and unrealistic at times, but otherwise, comical. What I found is that this novel reminds me of Faulkner's "As I Lay Dying" for some obvious reasons. What Hemmings succeeds in is creating a portrait of a dying wife, mother, secret girlfriend, woman, and human being through the perspective of a spectator who's left to put together the pieces of a failed marriage, his own life, and the lives of his two girls.

Two parts cohesive and heartfelt, one part on the verge of an outsider's teen read, "The Descendants" is a nice vacation for someone wanting to escape to interesting drama.

4 outta 5 ( )
  Max-Tyrone | Feb 7, 2015 |
This book surprised me. Recommended by a friend I didn't think it would be my thing but the plot sounded interesting enough.

I'm very glad I did. It's a quick easy read but wow it makes an impact. This is Hemmings first novel I believe but I shall be watching her closely.

It's funny and touching without becoming schmaltzy (which considering the plot it could have been). The reason I gave it 4 stars is because it's not consistent. Some parts seem slightly like filling.
( )
  ElaineRuss | Sep 23, 2013 |
Hm, torn between giving 3 or 4 stars, I finally settled on 3.
The male perspective was rare to me and interesting to read, the book contained a lot of refreshing, realistic situations, like having to think of something funny or totally mundane in a situation where you're expected to be shocked or sad.
I liked the plot and wanted to continue reading, but somehow in the last 2-3 chapters, I completely lost interest in the characters and their fate. I don't know why. It left me shrugging my shoulders and thinking "whatever".
I'm looking forward to see the movie some day though. ( )
  borhap | Aug 27, 2013 |
Another one to be read before seeing the movie.
Liked it - probably like George Clooney better though. ( )
  CasaBooks | Apr 28, 2013 |
The wife of Matt King lies in a coma from a boat racing accident. Meanwhile he must decide on selling off a land inheritance that will effect all his living relatives. The Descendants is both poignant and funny, as Matt wrestles with being the parent-in-charge; carrying out his wife's last wish to be disconnected from life support and dealing with a surprise or two along the way. ( )
  hayduke | Apr 3, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 38 (next | show all)
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The sun is shining, mynah birds are chattering, palm trees are swaying, so what.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0812982959, Paperback)

Now a major motion picture starring George Clooney and directed by Alexander Payne

Fortunes have changed for the King family, descendants of Hawaiian royalty and one of the state’s largest landowners. Matthew King’s daughters—Scottie, a feisty ten-year-old, and Alex, a seventeen-year-old recovering drug addict—are out of control, and their charismatic, thrill-seeking mother, Joanie, lies in a coma after a boat-racing accident. She will soon be taken off life support. As Matt gathers his wife’s friends and family to say their final goodbyes, a difficult situation is made worse by the sudden discovery that there’s one person who hasn’t been told: the man with whom Joanie had been having an affair. Forced to examine what they owe not only to the living but to the dead, Matt, Scottie, and Alex take to the road to find Joanie’s lover, on a memorable journey that leads to unforeseen humor, growth, and profound revelations.

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(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:52:39 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

A descendant of royalty and one of the largest landowners in Hawaii, Matthew King struggles to deal with his out-of-control daughters--ten-year-old Scottie and seventeen-year-old Alex--as well as his comatose wife, whom they are about to remove from life support.… (more)

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