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The Descendants

The Descendants [Kindle Edition]

Kaui Hart Hemmings
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (78 customer reviews)

Print List Price: 7.99
Kindle Price: 3.67 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
You Save: 4.32 (54%)
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Product Description


"Shockingly irreverent and funny while exerting that all-important emotional tug... A well-plotted, unexpectedly twisting saga" (Guardian)

"Kaui Hart Hemmings' assured touch and her fine grasp of the absurd ensures that this novel steers a deliciously scenic route between heartbreak and hilarity" (Daily Mail)

"Gripping and funny... A brave and intelligent novel" (Sunday Telegraph)

"An assured and subtle writer. The islands rise lush and untamed in the background" (Observer)

"Utterly original and absolutely compelling... a fantastic first novel" (Geoff Dyer)

Marie Claire

'Hemmings' quirkily assured touch, her grasp of the absurd ... ensures this novel's balance between heartbreak and hilarity'

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 761 KB
  • Print Length: 306 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0224081373
  • Publisher: Vintage Digital (4 Sep 2008)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S. r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099570246
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099570240
  • ASIN: B0031RS8QM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (78 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #63,303 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Compulsive, fun and thoughtful... 5 Feb 2008
By H. Callaghan VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
"The Descendants" is a tragicomic novel about Matt, workaholic father of two daughters and husband to the high maintenance Joanie, who is in a coma and whose life support has been switched off. The book is concerned with Matt and his daughters' quest to track down Joanie's lover and tell him that this will be the last chance to say goodbye.

I really enjoyed this, despite the fact that it revolves around an irreversible coma - Joanie as revealed is so unlikeable that her fate never really depresses you. The daughters (one 10 and one 17) are finely drawn (as is Alex' sort-of boyfriend) and as for Matt, just when you think he is most whipped, he surprises you with a show of grit.

I would never normally read a novel like this - not big on comic novels, but I thoroughly enjoyed it and the revelation about the business connections in the middle of the book was absolutely compulsive. I would definitely read something else by this author.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a superb first novel 14 Feb 2008
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
For a first book this is a spectacular success in my opinion. Whilst the story itself is not in itself particularly breathtaking, the way in which it is written as well as the characters and the various incidents throughout make it a particularly entertaining read. The story in itself is basically that of a wealthy yet dysfunctional family viewed through the eyes of the emotionally disconnected father, who has to come to terms with the fact that his wife will not come out of her coma and that he has no idea how to look after his two daughters in her absence. What ensues is a number of incidents with his daughters as they try to come to terms with each other and the major change that will soon happen in their lives.

Though this could be considered quite a heavy subject the book is written with a lot of good humour, though I do not usually laugh whilst reading this book did encourage a few giggles - something that very rarely happens with me. At the same time the book has a lot of heart, as though the main character is frustratingly unemotional you do get a clear feeling that to him life has suddenly changed violently and he is not sure how to deal with it. The characters are all rendered fantastically, especially his unusual daughter Scottie who continued to make me laugh throughout. The core of the story is adapting to change and that families will survive in one way or another. Fabulously well written.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Descendants by Kaui Hart Hemmings 20 Mar 2008
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Funny in places, well written with an excellent flowing style from the point of view of a man whose wife is in a coma, and who has to come to terms with some disturbing revelations about his wife and two daughters. This is a tale of how a man learns to re-adjust after finding out that his life was different to all that he had believed.

Not really my cup of tea however. It was a thought-provoking idea that failed to maintain my interest right through to its conclusion.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Highly Enjoyable 29 Mar 2008
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I read 'The Descendants' in one sitting, which is an indication on how much I enjoyed this novel. Written in the first person, from the husband's perspective, it really feels like someone talking to you telling his story. The style fits the story perfectly, not too serious but not too comedic either. A perfect blend of character study and plot. The story is essentially a 'road movie' type of book with the actual physical journey around Hawaii notifying the friends of the wife's death, the journey of getting to know his children, and his own journey of realising his love for his wife. There is also a sub-plot involving Hawaiian inheritance laws and the selling off of land. A story about the reconnection of the past with the present.

A highly enjoyable recommended read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A relaxed awakening 27 Feb 2008
By Maclennane VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The deeper Joanie King slips into a coma, the more Matt King wakes up. This is a lazily beautiful novel about an astute, comfortable, educated man, who slowly realises that all he has assumed is false; not in a road to Damascus-style revelation, and not in a way which makes him greatly uncomfortable, but none the less profoundly.

His daughters are growing up, but not in the way he imagined from the dstance of the office, his wife has secrets, and he is not as helpless to fate as he once thought.

The writing is wonderful, pace matching the setting which is integral to the book. Hawaii is written about with love and relaxed realism. The author is never tempted down the clichéd trying-too-hard route of extensive passages in pidgin and the matter-of-factness is engaging.

Perhaps most importantly, the story takes no enormous twists, but frequently when you think you can see the end result of a set of actions, the course of the story guides away from the obvious, giving the book the feeling of something which greew naturally and of its own accord, rather than pretty words hanging from a scaffold of plot.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An emotional, powerful story 14 Aug 2008
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This book is about a Hawaiian family whose mother (Joanie) lies in a coma in hospital following an accident on a boat. There is no chance she will recover and her life support machine is about to be turned off. This story is about the trip that Matt (the husband) makes to find his wifes lover and tell him that Joanie is going to die. His two daughters accompany him on this trip and the novel is about their journey together as a family during this difficult time and how they resolve many of the issues that they face as a family. The characters are strong and the story is powerful and well written. I would recommend it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great and thought provoking read
I had already seen the film when I read this book so I was worried it wouldn't be as good. I was wrong. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Ms. L. Carr
5.0 out of 5 stars Different.
I'm not sure what I expected from this film, but it surprised me. Funny, touching, sad and happy all rolled into one. Made me laugh and cry. Thoroughly recommend it.
Published 5 months ago by flynnmo
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it...
The story has black comedy, it is very moving and upsetting, it keeps you interested all the time and it is a subject I have never read about before. Read more
Published 8 months ago by JuliaPeculiar
4.0 out of 5 stars Great
This was the first book I had read in a while and I really enjoyed it. It was easy to relate to and wasn't predictable like many books are.
Published 10 months ago by Jasmine
5.0 out of 5 stars Sad and funny, a wonderful read
I would never have heard of the book if it wasn't for watching the George Clooney film, which it turns out is a very faithful adaptation. Read more
Published 10 months ago by K. J. Noyes
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic read
I bought this book as I had heard about the story because of the film, and I had heard good reviews. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Gemz
1.0 out of 5 stars Did not enjoy
I personally did not enjoy this book. I had trouble finishing it. If I did not have a rule I finish what I start I would not have wasted my time on the book.
Published 12 months ago by Carol
4.0 out of 5 stars didn't see the film..... though I would buy this holiday read on the advice of some list of 'good holiday reads' list! A very interesting plot with good observant writing - I enjoyed it tremendously.
Published 13 months ago by Suzipong
1.0 out of 5 stars a reader
After seeing the film which was enjoyable I thought the book might be interesting. A real let down. Written in the first person throughout, laborious and unimaginative in style.
Published 14 months ago by Consumer A
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved this book
I thought this book was great, it was also sad too but I enjoyed it and would recommend this book to everyone!!
Published 15 months ago by sharon mc nulty
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Popular Highlights

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Thats how you know you love someone, I guess, when you cant experience anything without wishing the other person were there to see it, too. &quote;
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How do I say goodbye to someone I love so much that Ive forgotten just how much I love her? &quote;
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But I need to think about whats best for my family instead of how others perceive my family, something Ive been guilty of all my life, trying to prove Im great and not just a descendant of somebody great. &quote;
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