The Descendants is a novel by Kaui Hart Hemmings, about a Hawaiian family who has descended from Hawaiian royalty and will inherit a large sum of land. The protagonist of the story is Matthew King, a workaholic with two daughters: 17-year-old Alex, a former drug addict, and 10-year-old Scottie, a spirited young girl who is acting out a little too much because Joanie – the girls’ mother and Matt’s wife – is in a coma after a boating accident and sadly will soon die.
The story chronicles many things happening over a short period of time: just as Matt and his children must say good-bye to Joanie, Matt also discovers that Joanie had been having an affair. As Matt seeks more information about the affair, he must also make decisions regarding the land he will inherit from his ancestors. I liked how the story focused on Matt’s relationship with his daughters, and we see their relationships with each other evolving. Hart Hemmings writes with a good pacing, and the story has a constant flow. The book has a realistic tone; we see the hardships that Matt’s family goes through, but we also see how their life is filled with humor, hope, and love.