Monday, 4 May 2015

The Descendants - Kaui Hart hemmings

Matt King has a loving wife, a good job and two daughters. His life is turned upside down when his wife Joanie, is comatose after a boating incident and he is left in charge of his daughters without a clue how to deal with them. His world has been work, he has dipped in and out of their lives, leaving the raising of the girls to his wife and the nanny. And worse of all, he has found out the his wife was having an affair.

His eldest child, Alex has already been shipped off to boarding school, so someone else can deal with her drug abuse and his youngest, Scottie, puts herself in danger in order to grab attention, any attention. He worries about their lives, about how they may have to grow up without a mother. It isn’t long before his worst fears are realised and he is told that his wife will never wake up.

He rushes off to bring his oldest daughter home, in order to say goodbye, but in reality he needs her here to help him deal with her sister. With everything he is trying to deal with, he also has a huge decision to make in respect of an old land claim. He is a descendant of one of Hawaii’s largest landowners and the time right if they want to sell, and all his cousins want him to sell.

The book takes us along the journey with Matt and his family as they deal with Joanie’s infidelity and impending death. It isn’t a book that moves at great pace, that covers a vast storyline, but is one that engages from the very first page. It’s all about the tiny observations of the people coping with the tragedy. How one remark or even just a look or a nod can change how people perceive you. It was fantastic to watch it unfold. You see how much pain they are all in. How a pothead, named Sid, keeps them all together and you have to like him, with all his faults.

This is simply an observation of life in general, and how people react under difficult circumstances. It made me cry but also laugh and I loved it.