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The descendants : a novel
Kaui Hart Hemmings
Adult Fiction HEMMING

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Hemmings's bittersweet debut novel, an expansion of her first published short story ("The Minor Wars," from House of Thieves and originally published in StoryQuarterly), stars besieged and wryly introspective attorney Matt King, the land-rich descendant of Hawaiian royalty and American missionaries and entrepreneurs. He wrestles with the decision of whether to keep his swath of valuable inherited land or sell it to a real estate developer. But even more critical, Matt also has to decide whether to pull the plug on his wife, Joanie, who has been in an irreversible coma for 23 days following a boat-racing accident. Then Matt finds out that Joanie was having an affair with real estate broker Brian Speer, impelling him to travel with his two daughters-precocious 10-year-old Scottie and fresh from rehab 17-year-old Alex-from Oahu to Kauai to confront Brian. Matt finds out the truth about Joanie and Brian, which influences his decision about what to do with his family's on-the-block land and complicates his plans for Joanie. Matt's journey with his girls forms the emotional core of this sharply observed, frequently hilarious and intermittently heartbreaking look at a well-meaning but confused father trying to hold together his unconventional family. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Matthew King has an unusual lineage-he is the royal descendant of one of Hawaii's largest landowners. This should be quite a fortunate situation, but life has a way of turning things on end. Matt's beautiful young wife is in a life-threatening coma. A model who lived life fearlessly, she was thrown overboard while racing in a motorboat. The news from the doctor isn't good, and Matt must find a way to tell friends and family. Being a busy attorney, he has not been the most attentive husband and father. Now he suddenly finds himself in charge of feisty ten-year-old Scottie and incorrigible 17-year-old Alex. Both girls are dealing with puberty, school, and the realization that their mother isn't coming home. Confronting tragedy brings this family unit together in surprising ways, and Hemmings has created an endearing yet humorous portrait. The characters are vivid, and the book flows along with strong narration. Highly recommended for all public libraries.-Robin Nesbitt, Columbus Metropolitan Lib., OH (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters Matthew King
Has bad luck; has two teenage daughters who are out of control; wife is being taken off life support; discovers his wife was having an affair.

Scottie King
Age: 10
Matthew's daughter; desperately needs attention.

Alex King
Matthew's oldest daughter.

Joanie King
Matthew's wife; thrill-seeker; high-maintenace; in a coma from a boat-racing accident; cheated on her husband with a real estate broker.

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