The Descendants, By Kaui Hart Hemmings


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The Independent Culture

Matt King, a Honolulu attorney, finds himself in deep water after his fun-loving wife, Joanie, falls into a coma following a boating accident.

Left in sole charge of his two rebellious teenage daughters, he's forced to wake up to all kinds of new realities, including the fact that his wife was having an affair.

Convinced of the need to track down Joanie's lover, he takes his girls on an idiosyncratic and deliciously tropical road trip.

The subject matter may be heated but Hemmings avoids schmaltz at every turn. Even Joanie's death-bed scene is flooded with well-judged comedy.

An engaging comic debut about a middle-aged man's attempts to navigate a far from scenic route home. As Matt acknowledges: "My Polynesian ancestors would be disappointed in me, in all of us."