The Descendants

The Descendants

A Novel

Book - 2011
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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.

Publisher: New York : Random House Trade Paperbacks, 2011, c2007
Edition: Random House trade pbk. ed. --
ISBN: 9780812982954
Branch Call Number: FIC Hemmi 3564
Characteristics: 297 p


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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.

ArapahoeKathryn Aug 11, 2016

It's interesting on how closely the movie mirrored the book, that doesn't always happen. Both are excellent.

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.

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brihawkins13 Apr 06, 2018

brihawkins13 thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over


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