Monday, June 3, 2013

The Descendants

I loaded a bunch of books on my Kindle for the trip and in the end, only read one. We were lucky in that the long flights had lots of free movies to watch and of course, we were supposed to be sleeping on the way over. (Yeah right).


This is The Descendants by Kaui Hart Hemmings. Yes, it was made into a movie but first like many movies, it was a book.

Good Reads' Synopsis: "Narrated in a bold, fearless, unforgettable voice and set against the lush, panoramic backdrop of Hawaii, The Descendants is a stunning debut novel about an unconventional family forced to come together and re-create its own legacy.

Matthew King was once considered one of the most fortunate men in Hawaii. His missionary ancestors were financially and culturally progressive–one even married a Hawaiian princess, making Matt a royal descendant and one of the state’s largest landowners. 

Now his luck has changed. His two daughters are out of control: Ten-year-old Scottie is a smart-ass with a desperate need for attention, and seventeen-year-old Alex, a former model, is a recovering drug addict. Matt’s charismatic, thrill-seeking, high-maintenance wife, Joanie, lies in a coma after a boat-racing accident and will soon be taken off life support. The Kings can hardly picture life without her, but as they come to terms with this tragedy, their sadness is mixed with a sense of freedom that shames them–and spurs them into surprising actions.

Before honoring Joanie’s living will, Matt must gather her friends and family to say their final goodbyes, a difficult situation made worse by the sudden discovery that there is one person who hasn’t been told: the man with whom Joanie had been having an affair, quite possibly the one man she ever truly loved. Forced to examine what he owes not only to the living but to the dead, Matt takes to the road with his daughters to find his wife’s lover, a memorable journey that leads to both painful revelations and unforeseen humor and growth."

What I Thought: I downloaded this to read not knowing what to expect but I honestly could not put this down. I had not seen the movie but know it did well at the box office. I have since watched the movie and while it was good I, of course, liked the book better. The characters were lively. The writing was full of emotion. It is a sad story, yes, but a heartfelt story of growth as well. Definitely read this!

Rating: * * * *

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