The Descendants

By Kaui Hart Hemmings
(Random House Trade Paperbacks, Paperback, 9780812982954, 320pp.)

Publication Date: October 4, 2011

Other Editions of This Title: Paperback, Paperback, Paperback, Hardcover, Compact Disc, Paperback

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Description

Now a major motion picture starring George Clooney and directed by Alexander Payne

Fortunes have changed for the King family, descendants of Hawaiian royalty and one of the state’s largest landowners. Matthew King’s daughters—Scottie, a feisty ten-year-old, and Alex, a seventeen-year-old recovering drug addict—are out of control, and their charismatic, thrill-seeking mother, Joanie, lies in a coma after a boat-racing accident. She will soon be taken off life support. As Matt gathers his wife’s friends and family to say their final goodbyes, a difficult situation is made worse by the sudden discovery that there’s one person who hasn’t been told: the man with whom Joanie had been having an affair. Forced to examine what they owe not only to the living but to the dead, Matt, Scottie, and Alex take to the road to find Joanie’s lover, on a memorable journey that leads to unforeseen humor, growth, and profound revelations.

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About the Author

Kaui Hart Hemmings is the author of the critically acclaimed short-story collection House of Thieves. Her work has been published in Zoetrope, Best American New Voices, and Best American Nonrequired Reading. Hemmings grew up in Hawaii and lives with her husband and daughter in San Francisco.




Conversation Starters from ReadingGroupChoices.com

CONVERSATION STARTERS

  1. What do you think of Joanie? Is she a harmless thrill-seeker or a well-meaning but self-absorbed mother? 




Praise For The Descendants

“A Pandora’s box–style tragicomedy . . . [Kaui Hart Hemmings’s] comic sense is finely honed in this refreshingly wry debut novel.”—The New York Times Book Review

“With beautiful and blunt prose, Hemmings explores the emotional terrain of grief, promising something far more fulfilling than paradise at its end.”—San Francisco Chronicle
 
“A surprising and affecting novel, a story about death and infidelity that manages to be a finer, lighter story about life and love.”—Time Out New York

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