Author: Kaui Hart Hemmings
Publisher: Random House
Publication Date: May 15th 2007
Mathew King was once considered on 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 wit 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 there is one person who hasn't been told: the man whom Joanie had been having an affair, quite possibly the one man she ever truly loved. Forced to examine what he owes not only 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.
I was very disappointed with The Descendants. I expected more character insight, instead getting bratty kids and a MC that somehow comes off spineless instead of capable.
Though I did dislike The Descendants I still found some parts quite engaging and heartfelt. The struggles Matt faces when he finds out his wife was having a affair is raw and emotional. How can he get mad at his wife if she is dying? How does he manage to do what's right for his children and wife after feeling so betrayed by her? Ultimately the MC's struggle with his emotions is what kept me reading till the end. I wanted to know if he came out okay in the end.
The story was told almost in a passive way. Very slowly and kind of 'whatever' at moments. Am I suppose to not like Joanie or am I suppose to understand her and at the end, like her. Because I just didn't plain like her, yet the writing I felt kept nudging me to try to understand her and sympathize, I just couldn't. As for the daughters they were a hand full and so irritating that I almost DNF'd it. If they didn't start showing some growing up I probably would have chucked it.
The Descendants have some great beautiful written parts but as a whole it didn't do it for me.