The Descendants

The Descendants

A Novel

Downloadable Audiobook - 2007
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Matthew King was once considered one of the most fortunate men in Hawaii. His missionary ancestors who came to the islands were financially and culturally progressive--one even married a Hawaiian princess, making Matt a royal descendant and one of the state's largest landowners. But now his luck has changed. His two daughters are out of control--10-year-old Scottie has a smart-ass attitude and a desperate need for attention and 17-year-old Alex, a former model, is a recovering drug addict. His thrill-seeking and high-maintenance wife, Joanie, lies in a coma after a boat racing accident, and will soon be taken off life support. The King family can hardly picture life without their charismatic mother, 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.
Publisher: [North Kingstown, RI] : Sound Library, 2007.
ISBN: 9780792749547
Branch Call Number: E-AUDIO
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc

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j
jandt_mcmurray
Jul 20, 2017

Native Hawaiian & big-time lawyer Matt King is dealing with the inevitable---the death of his comatose wife. In the days & weeks after she's been taken off the ventilator, Matt is discovering that he doesn't really KNOW his 2 daughters, Alex & Scottie, & they don't think of him as a real father. Juggling between figuring out how to begin building father/daughter relationships with them, dealing with his impending new title of "widow", & working with his cousins to finalize the sale of his family's inherited Hawaiian land, he also discovers a terrible truth about his wife. Matt decides that the best way to deal with everything he's feeling is to simply confront the man with whom his wife had an affair, real estate mogul Brian Speer. As the facts spill out, Matt discovers that the affair was not a love connection between his wife & Brian but rather a mutual climb to the top relating to the impending high-dollar sale of Matt's family's land. When all is said & done, Matt finds a path to peace & a new family role as a dad.

I actually heard about this book from some trust administrator friends at work. It had been the topic of a trust conference relating to the Hawaiian land trust. This was definitely a major theme of the book, but the main theme was completely different than what I would've guessed. It's never a happy story when the theme is that of an affair between 2 married people with kids. It was sad to read of Alex & Scottie's life til now without any real involvement by the father. Sure, they lived with both of their parents, but Matt apparently put other things above the happiness of his wife & kids. And now he's paying the price & figuring out how to jump in in the middle of their lives. This story hit way too close to home for me which is probably why I couldn't quit listening. Although the location was Hawaii & I grew up in Kansas, & some of the family guidelines were much more loose than that of my conservative Christian family, the idea of a present/not-present father of girls is very much the same. And also like Matt, my dad has now discovered that he's lost precious time & is working to make up for that. Dads, don't get so focused on everything else in life that you forfeit time with those that matter most in life: your spouse, your children, extended family, friends, etc.

Age recommendation: 16 & up (profanity, talk of infidelity, sexual situations)

On a scale of 1-10 stars, I give it 7.

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j
jandt_mcmurray
Jul 20, 2017

jandt_mcmurray thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

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