The Descendants – Kaui Hart Hemmings: A Review

Title: The Descendants

Released: 2007

Type: Drama

Yes guys, this is the book that was turned into the Oscar-worthy movie. The one with George Clooney in it. Like all movies ripped-off from books, this movie too missed out on a lot of material that would have made the movie a hundred times better.

I was neither interested in watching the movie nor reading the book. Since I got the book as a birthday present from my closest friend in the world I thought I’ll read it. And here’s what I think.

Matt King is a rich landowner in Hawaii with a comatose wife, Joanie and two unruly children. Scottie (10) wants to be like her ex-model sister, Alex (17) who does not care about her mother.  Matt slowly starts slipping into the responsibility of being a father. Just when he thinks things are under control he finds out that Joanie has been having an affair. He then sets out to find her lover and give him the chance to say goodbye to Joanie and reconnect with his daughters.

The story is straightforward and simple. The characters are pretty stereotypical. Alex is the drugged-out teen ex-model who doesn’t get along with her parents. Scottie wants to act grown up and get attention. Joanie is a lover of the fast life so an affair was expected. Matt is the poor guy stuck in such problems who matures and takes responsibility.

The only character who isn’t run-of-the-mill is Sid, Alex’s friend/boyfriend/confidante. He infuses sentiment into humour and makes sense in whatever he speaks. The confrontation between Brian, Joanie’s lover and Matt is anti-climatic.  The ending is mellow and predictable. It’s a fine book to read once in a while but not something that you would remember once you finish it.


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