Thursday, June 21, 2012

Book Review: The Descendants

Author: Kaui Hart Hemings
Title: The Descendants
Description: This is one of those books that became famous as a movie. I haven’t seen the movie yet (you know I always read the book first). This one was one of our book group selections. Matthew King’s wife Joanie is in a coma and has been for the past twenty-three days.  Not only does he have to make decisions about continuing her care, he has two daughters he hardly knows. Matthew and his girls have to redefine what it means to be a family.
Plot: This book is a really good blend of plot and character development. The plot is simple yet gripping; when Matthew discovers his wife has been having an affair, things become even more complicated.
Characters: Matthew, his girls Scottie and Alex, and Alex’s friend Sid all grow and change during the novel. Even the comatose Joanie is a vivid character. I’d say this aspect of the book is the author’s strong point.
Writing style: The book is not long and reads quickly, but it is nonetheless thought-provoking. It proves that a book doesn’t have to be long to be powerful.
Audience: It’s literary fiction, set in Hawaii. Anyone who reads literary fiction would probably like the book, though I can see it appealing more to women than to men.
Wrap-up: This book grabbed me once I started reading it. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and found much to consider at the same time. I’m looking forward to seeing the movie. 4/5*

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