The Descendants

The Descendants

A Novel

Book - 2007
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"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; 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."--BOOK JACKET.
Publisher: New York : Random House, 2007.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9781400066339
Characteristics: p. cm.


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One of my holds came in today, and it's a book that I'm really excited about - The Goddesses. I don't often read thrillers, but I read about this title and it has one thing going for it that gets me every time - it's set in Hawaii! I love to daydream about those islands as often as possible so I read everything I can get my hands on that details the vibrancy of life in our 50th state. Kiana… (more)

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A descendant of Hawaiian royalty comes to terms with his wife's coma while trying to deal with his teen daughters' rebelliousness.

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Aug 24, 2018

I had such a hard time reading this book mostly because I really didn't like nor connect with any of the characters for the bulk of the book. I get that their mom is in a coma and things aren't looking good and the entire family is acting out in various ways...but I don't know, the dad, Matthew, doesn't seem all that likable, nor does the mom either. She seems reckless and a total thrill seeker, which left her in this position.

Scottie, a misguided 10 year old, keeps getting into 'trouble' to try and come up with cool and interesting stories to tell her mom, but it seems really sad that she can't just talk to her mom (then again when has her mom actually acted like a parent?!). Alex, who chose to run away to boarding school instead of confronting the truth about her dysfunctional family. Matthew, is so caught up with the family lands that he is so checked out from his family and what his family is doing. Joanie, just seems to live for the thrill and doesn't care about the consequences, especially having that affair and secretly flying to family meetings without Matthew knowing.

By the end, everyone in the family has come to some terms with what has happened and how they much function and work together as a family during this difficult time. Still.... I barely like them after all that they have been through.

Oct 29, 2015

I enjoyed the movie, but was left feeling like there could have been so much more to explore with the story that the movie couldn't capture. The novel does capture all of the emotion and depth that the movie did not, and I loved it.
It explores what it means to be a native of a particular place in the modern world of mass travel and tourism, social and political issues around money and inheritance, fatherhood, marriage, raising adolescent kids... the book gives the reader a lot to think about without being depressing or preachy.
A fun and emotional read! I recommend it.

Apr 30, 2015

I didn't like the movie and I didn't like the book. I do like the band The Descendents.

Nov 05, 2013

Matt King an absence parent who now is thrown into raising his 2 daughters after his wife is a coma in the hospital due to a sporting incident. He has to make some challenging decisions for her, his business, her daughters and the relationships he wishes to pursue(or not). He uncovers some disturbing information about his wife and see how it all plays out. Enjoyed!

Aug 01, 2013

I thought since this was made into a movie it had to be great. I was so disapointed. There is pretty much no plot development. Nothing happens in this story except a lot of thinking and talking. I skim read a lot just hoping that something significant was going to happen but of course nothing ever did. I'm so glad I got this book from the library as I would be kicking myself right now had I paid to it.

Jan 29, 2013

This is not the sort of book I usually read, but I thought the movie looked interesting, and I always read the book before watching the movie. I was pleasantly surprised. I really enjoyed the story and the quirky characters, although I couldn't stop picturing George Clooney as the Dad, given that he's in the movie ! Looking forward to seeing how the movie compares.

Aug 22, 2012

saw the movie, didn't know it was a book. read the book, happy i did. it was great!

Aug 22, 2012

A universal story told in a very specific location. I though the book had more emotion and depth than the movie.

sablegirl Jul 26, 2012

A wonderful story of family and loss. I enjoyed reading this book and thought it was written just for George Clooney to portray! I could hear him talking throughout the book! I didn't even see the movie at that point. A couldn't put this book down and was anxious to see the movie once I read the book.

Jul 05, 2012

I wanted to read the novel after seeing the movie and I am glad I did. I found it to be an emotionally complex story that I could not put down. It was interesting to read how a non-involved father is thrust into the parenting role while dealing with an unimaginable tragedy and betrayal.

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brihawkins13 Apr 06, 2018

brihawkins13 thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over


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