Editorial Reviews. From Publishers Weekly. Hemmings's bittersweet debut novel, an expansion Add Audible book to your download for just $ Deliver to. RHRC: The Descendants is a difficult book to categorize– it's incredibly sad and moving in some parts, and hilarious and irreverent in others. What kind of novel. Fortunes have changed for the King family, descendants of Hawaiian royalty and one of the state's The Descendants. A Novel. by Kaui Hart Hemmings. ebook.
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The descendants [electronic resource (PDF eBook)]: a novel / Kaui Hart Hemmings. Saved in: Processing (CPL) - eBooks (PDF) - Adult Fiction. The Descendants book. Read reviews from the world's largest community for readers. Narrated in a bold, fearless, unforgettable voice and set agains. The Descendants by Kaui Hart Hemmings. Read online, or download in secure EPUB format.
Although there are moments of absurdity and bleak humour, this is mostly grim subject matter. Death and infidelity and inheritance have an interesting and original specificity in this story -- I was really interested in the setting of contemporary Hawaii, and the various ways in which it plays out in the story -- and yet the universality of those subjects made this story really resonate with me.
View 1 comment. Jan 28, Cait rated it did not like it Shelves: This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I really didn't like this book I have to say. I liked it enough to finish it it is a rarity if I don't finish a book that I start , but overall didn't like it. I couldn't empathize with the dying wife.
I felt bad that she was dying but I didn't like her character at all. The youngest daughter Scottie was made out to be this extreme 10 year old obsessed with sex and fitting in, that would have been more believable if she was , but not The oldest daughter was the most interesting but fro I really didn't like this book I have to say.
The oldest daughter was the most interesting but from the beginning of the book to the end she changed dramatically without there being any description of her changing and so she just seems almost like a completely new character at the end. I felt like the whole selling of land aspect, the downloaders, and the scheming of the wife could have been set up better, built up better. And at the end when he decides not to sell the land that scene should have been given a weight that it didn't get.
It was no more than pages and for something that was essentially the secondary plot to the book, it should have been given more thought. I was really interested in this book when I originally bought it - especially since it has such great Oscar buzz, but I was disappointed. View all 14 comments. Feb 12, Katie rated it liked it. So I may or may not have read this while I was at work over the last month It was well written and kept my interest even though I've seen the movie and knew what was going to happen.
Probably the only thing that kept me from fully enjoying this book was that sometimes the way the dad spoke about his daughters made me uncomfortable.
That's about it. No abusa de sentimentalismos. Dec 28, Susan Johnson rated it it was amazing. I was hesitant to read this book. They made a movie with George Clooney based on it and I thought it was going to be some romantic, Hollywood drivel.
Boy was I ever wrong. This is a layered story of loss, acceptance, discovery and those first few steps to a new life.
Matt King has had everything handed to him in life. The descendant of a Hawaiian princess and a white missionary, he is the controlling partner of a family trust overseeing a great deal of Hawaiian land.
He has made his life on his I was hesitant to read this book. He has made his life on his own terms, living on his earned income.
He has avoided the responsibility of the trust while building his business and is now faced with the decision for all of the heirs on whether they should sell their legacy. Meanwhile, his wife is in a coma after being injured in a boating race. As the coma continujes, Matt and his two daughters must decide on her future and theirs.
As they say good-bye to one life, they start on another. This was an extremely moving story that explored many topics and relationships. I sat up to 2 am one night to finish it and then cried myself to sleep. This book moved me. View all 7 comments. Dec 05, SA rated it it was ok Shelves: You know, it's not until I start reading contemporary fiction that I remember I don't especially enjoy it.
Not to be simplistic, but if there isn't a dead body, a spaceship, or magic, I'm not the immediate target market for your book. I picked this one up, though, because it continues my theme of reading books set in Hawai'i, and because the film based on the book has been released.
It took more than half the book to sympathize with the character--he doesn't talk about love that he has for his w You know, it's not until I start reading contemporary fiction that I remember I don't especially enjoy it. It took more than half the book to sympathize with the character--he doesn't talk about love that he has for his wife until , which was uncomfortable given the dramatic situation his family was in. It's hard to feel sympathy for a parent who's neglected his children, and a partner who has neglected his wife, that's just waking up to "oh shit I guess I have to step up now.
In the novel, especially from his first-person perspective, I kept fighting the urge to roll my eyes. The manner of writing was journeyman, and I got a fair amount of the sense of place, but I think I'm used to more deft, thorough portrayals of Hawai'i as a genus locii because something was missing for me. The characters inhabited but didn't pay attention to their space, and the author went so far as to bring that to the reader's attention a few times in the text.
I don't know how I feel about it, fundamentally. Vaguely dissatisfied that it wasn't a murder mystery? Bored by the concept of a husband and father finally waking up to his responsibilities? I didn't really have expectations, but I think I was dissatisfied. Perhaps that was the point. Dec 29, Neal Sanders rated it it was amazing. At heart, all novelists are dreamers. We concoct vivid stories from fleeting, overheard comments and turn complex ideas into 85, words of captivating prose.
As we write, we envision other people absorbing our words and finding pleasure or guidance in them. If we are honest, we cherish the idea that our stories might reach tens of thousands — or hundreds of thousands - of readers. And, if we truly dream big, we envision our words finding their way onto the screen so that millions of people who At heart, all novelists are dreamers. And, if we truly dream big, we envision our words finding their way onto the screen so that millions of people who are not ordinarily readers will discover our words and at least some will go back to the source material and read what we originally wrote.
We mentally cast those films — Meryl Streep for the female lead, of course, and maybe George Clooney for the male starring role. I can only imagine what Kaui Hart Hemmings felt when she learned that her debut novel not only had been optioned by a respected director, but that it had attracted Mr.
I am one of those people who saw the movie and immediately sought out the book. Hemmings tells a tale filled with interior monologues about contemporary Hawaii, parenting, and the pain of discovering that the life you thought was good turned out to be unbearable to your spouse. Matt is forced to confront children whom he never really knew and the new-found discovery that his wife was in love with another man.
It falls to director Payne to add scenes that take the family to the land to which they were entrusted and to flesh out the conflicts that roil the extended family that will be affected by the sale.
That new-found knowledge is the catalyst for what follows: The movie visually shows us a Hawaii that tourists never contemplate. I read it in two sittings and then put it in the shelf I reserve for books I intend to read again. Apr 01, Phyllis rated it really liked it. This is the story of a family in Hawaii. The father is a busy lawyer , his wife is in a coma from a boating accident.
His two daughters he has know idea how to cope with them. He has not spent a lot of time with them and now must be both father and mother. He is a descendant of a Hawaiian princess who married a white land owner.
I loved this book. It was well written, funny, sad, and you could see the changes in the characters as the story developed. Decisions had to be made about the wife's wor This is the story of a family in Hawaii.
Decisions had to be made about the wife's worsening condition. I saw the movie about three years ago and loved it also. View all 3 comments. Dec 14, Faith rated it it was ok. For me, this fell flat. Probably my fault for expecting too much out of this read. Unbelievable and unlikable characters abound in this book. I don't mind books that have just unlikeable characters so much as they're explained and built up to where can we can understand their choices and personalities.
This book just didn't deliver that in my opinion. The author had opportunities to explain these characters and build up the plot but choose not to for some reason. Honestly regret reading this book but did so because I'm going to see the movie with some family. I've heard it's b Unbelievable and unlikable characters abound in this book. I've heard it's better than the book but was changed a lot plot wise. I'll cross my fingers that this is true.
Mar 05, Snotchocheez rated it really liked it. So goes Part Two of my tour of source material for Alexander Payne movies; a director notoriously finicky in culling through relatively unknown authors' works, and in my opinion spinning gold from straw.
I'm happy to report that, unlike Rex Pickett's clunky, only occasionally funny but more often annoying Sideways Part One of my tour , Kaui Hart Hemmings' The Descendants is every bit as good as the movie, perhaps even slightly better. The story of middle-aged haole-Hawaiian Matt King's comi So goes Part Two of my tour of source material for Alexander Payne movies; a director notoriously finicky in culling through relatively unknown authors' works, and in my opinion spinning gold from straw.
The story of middle-aged haole-Hawaiian Matt King's coming to a life crossroads as his wife lies in a coma is, on the surface, not exactly something that screams out "Film Me, Hollywood!
In fact, Payne stuck so closely to the book in his adaptation of it, it could almost be mistaken as a screenplay, or one of those books-adapted-from-the movie deals.
Hart Hemmings for actually making me cry, where the movie version did not. Hopefully the success from the movie adaptation of her work will provide impetus for her to continue writing; I for one am eager to read more from her. Hart Hemmings: Young Scottie's wardrobe nearly always consisted of non-age-appropriate novelty tee shirts, one of which helpfully read "Mrs.
You can almost see Payne's gears spinning with that one Of course ya did, Alexander. View all 5 comments. I really liked this. I saw the movie before reading the book, which I hate doing because I feel the book gets ruined.
I'm always ready to be "at the good parts" the movie showed. But, in my true fashion I cared for the book more than the movie, but both were great. I liked how the booked delved into the characters of Sid and Joannie. Sid seems so random in the movie, but his character actually makes a lot of sense.
This might be harsh, but I had abosolutely no simpathy for Joannie's character. She seemed like a really messed up person who messed up the lives of her husband and children.
I don't like her, and I feel I should feel bad saying that since the character is dying. But, I don't. I think she's a bitch. I acutally laughed out load at some parts. Which again, asks the question is it appropriate since someone is dying? Tricky, tricky Miss Hemmings! In some ways this the character of Matt King reminded me of my dad and the daughters of myself and my younger sister minus the whole drug use thing.
My mom actually cheated and left our family, so I grew up with a single dad. We, along with my brother, would say just about anything in front my dad I couldn't help to think, did my dad have the same thoughts as Matt King when he heard things come out of our mouths?
I'm sure we made for some really awkward moments and questions about parenting, just like it did for Matt. Read it. Just know there is adult humor, not gross humor, but adult. I found it appropriate in this novel. Happy reading!
After seeing the movie, I decided to read the book, in order to better understand character motivation. The movie is surprisingly faithful to the structure of the book but the character of the wife is fleshed out much better in the novel.
Matt King, the titular head of an extended family with traces of Hawaiian blood, is in charge of deciding what developer to sell the family's pristine Hawaiian land to. Between trying to make that decision mostly by avoiding it and focusing too much on his wo After seeing the movie, I decided to read the book, in order to better understand character motivation.
Between trying to make that decision mostly by avoiding it and focusing too much on his work as a lawyer, he's become distant from his wife and two bratty daughters, ten year old Scottie and seventeen year old Alex.
When Joanie, Matt's wife, falls into a coma after a boating accident, Matt is forced into becoming a father again, and also to face some unpleasant truths about himself, the woman he believes he's always loved, and exactly why he may have removed himself from his immediate family. Though the book is braver than the movie, in that it makes it clear the family is better off without Joanie, I didn't believe a word of it and, for that matter, the movie, either.
Both are very well constructed entertainments with exactly the strings you expect to be pulled exactly when you expect them to be. The prose is simplistic though I don't mean that critically -- it goes down very easily and is not without humor and pathos.
But for such serious subject matter the book is very lightweight; though I admire the author for having the courage to write a book where the family is better off without the mother even though she isn't an obvious or heavy handed villianous presence , the book has little resonance.
I felt manipulated rather than genuinely moved. Jul 19, Martie Nees Record rated it liked it. If you saw the movie you just about read the book. I picked this book because it is set in the Hawaiian Islands and that is where my family and I were vacationing this year.
I had previously seen the movie because George Clooney but the book is so much better. During the story Matthew and his two girls grow close as they come t I picked this book because it is set in the Hawaiian Islands and that is where my family and I were vacationing this year.
Such a heartwarming coming to terms with what God throws at you kind of story. The narrator is busy pulling out his hair while he figures out what to do with his wild children who in turn are trying to figure out what to do about growing up. Throw in a morbidly injured and cheating mother and life is just hell breaking loose. So how does Dad make them a family again? And can they find closure? Where is the trust?
The only things I knew about this book when I started it were that it was a movie, and the movie was set in Hawaii. That being said, The Descendants surprised me greatly by becoming one of the best books I've read all year and I've read a few books. I'm not going to dwell too much on the plot.
The reason to read this book is because of the characters. They are dysfunctional, flawed, lovable, laughable and larger than life.
My favorite character is, by far, the protagonist's, Matt King's, yea The only things I knew about this book when I started it were that it was a movie, and the movie was set in Hawaii.
My favorite character is, by far, the protagonist's, Matt King's, year-old daughter, Scottie, not only because is she hilarious, but because she is in major need of a hug. Hemming's descriptions of Scottie are endearing and terrifying at the same time.
From her wardrobe choices to to the food stuck in her hair, Scottie is a great representation of everything that is spiraling out of control in the King's life. I think another of the reasons I liked this book so much was because of my time spent in Hawaii. One could say that Hawaii itself is a character in Hemming's book, and I think anyone who has really spent time in Hawaii would agree with this statement. Her small details of the lifestyle and the entire sub-plot about being descendants bring the Hawaiian culture - past and present - to life.
I read some reviews about how ridiculous it is to consider the legacy of being descendants a burden, and that the title of The Descendants is irrelevant to the actual book.
To those reviewers I state, you don't understand Hawaiian culture. I can't say that I am an aficionado on the subject, but I understand enough to know that Hemmings paints a very realistic view of modern Hawaii in how it is struggling to maintain is ties to its Polynesian heritage and move into the future as an American state. Now obviously this is fiction, but the topics Hemmings broaches are very real and not irrelevant. If you are at all interested in Hawaii, and I mean the Hawaii outside of the manicured resorts, pay attention to the details in Hemmings work.
I have a feeling her future work will also play with these themes, and I look forward to reading more about a very special place. I recommend this book. Mar 13, Alicia rated it really liked it. Although the movie put George Clooney in my head the whole time I was reading, I really could see him in the role of Matt King. Loved the nod to him on page 44 when Scottie, the 10 year old daughter, was described as wearing a Mrs.
Clooney t-shirt! I am looking forward to seeing the adaptation. I found humor and affection in Matt's irreverent style of parenting. Their family situation might seem unconventional and judgement-worthy, but truthfully there is at least a hint of both the marital s Although the movie put George Clooney in my head the whole time I was reading, I really could see him in the role of Matt King.
Their family situation might seem unconventional and judgement-worthy, but truthfully there is at least a hint of both the marital state and the parenthood state in many families. His daughters were each dealing with their emotions in such a different and overt way. And I really enjoyed what Sid brought to the story. So much going on with Matt, yet so little shown on the outside. I'm guessing Clooney can pull that off well.
Love the karma brought down on Joanie not her physical situation, but the reader gets it by the end of the book. She was not very likeable. At weddings we roll our eyes at the burgeoning love around us, the vows that we know will morph into new kids of promises: I vow not to kiss you when you're trying to read. I will tolerate you in sickness and ignore you in health. I promise to let you watch that stupid news show about celebrities, since you're so disenchanted with your own life.
Like a badass but older. I hate when people say how brave someone is when really they're just surviving. What kind of novel did you set out to write when you started, and did it end up changing at all along the way? Were you hoping to make people both laugh and cry? In fact, I rarely know if something is funny or moving until I go back and read it for myself.
There is nothing more satisfying to me than when your own work makes you feel something, or if your own words make you laugh, though I tend to look around, embarrassed to be laughing at my own joke. When I set out to write a novel, my only intentions have to do with story, not emotions, ideas, or themes.
The emotional undercurrent relies on and is derived naturally from action, dialogue, scene. How did you make her emerge as a fully developed character? The way people react and interact with someone is very revealing. It was a challenge though, because I try to avoid flashbacks. This is always a challenge for me because I tend to feature an important though absent character in a lot of my work.
How did you come up with the idea for this novel? Aside from the Hawaii setting, is any part of it autobiographical? The process of writing fiction is always a collage: It just started as a seed, I cared for it, and then it became something different each day. Do you have any routines? My routine is shaped by the routine of my daughter.
When she was a baby I worked during naps. I alternate between three different shops and work for about an hour, an hour and a half, which translates into three pages. I like getting out into my neighborhood and seeing familiar faces before going home and becoming a shut-in.
But in a way I am writing all day. Exercising is when I usually get all of my ideas Watching TV as well. What other authors inspire you and influence your work?
There are many authors I admire: Actually, there are many books I love. What are you working on next? This one is also funny, yet tragic. I have a feeling I will always write about the painfully funny struggles of people in Edenic settings. I have a queue of projects, sort of like an idea Netflix. The other day I met a man who is involved in a highly publicized lawsuit. He made me think of my character, Matt King.
This man is who Matt would be in fifteen years, conflict included. The Descendants started as a short story. Now I might not be able to let these characters rest. Sequel, perhaps? Join Reader Rewards and earn your way to a free book! Join Reader Rewards and earn points when you download this book from your favorite retailer.
Read An Excerpt. Literary Fiction Category: Literary Fiction. Paperback 2 —. download the Ebook: Add to Cart Add to Cart. About The Descendants 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.