Now a major motion picture starring George Clooney!
Matthew King was once considered one of the most fortunate men in Hawaii. His missionary ancestors who came to the islands were financially and culturally progressive - one even married a Hawaiian princess, making Matt a royal descendant and one of the state’s largest landowners. But now his luck has changed. His two daughters are out of control - 10-year-old Scottie has a smart-ass attitude and a desperate need for attention and 17-year-old Alex, a former model, is a recovering drug addict. His thrill-seeking and high-maintenance wife, Joanie, lies in a coma after a boat racing accident, and will soon be taken off life support.
The King family can hardly picture life without their charismatic mother, but as they come to terms with this tragedy, their sadness is mixed with a sense of freedom that shames them - and spurs them into surprising actions.
©2007 Kaui Hart Hemmings. All rights reserved. (P)2010 BBC America Audiobooks
"Matt's journey with his girls forms the emotional core of this sharply observed, frequently hilarious and intermittently heartbreaking look at a well-meaning but confused father trying to hold together his unconventional family." (Publishers Weekly)
"[An] audaciously comic début novel.... Hemmings channels the voice of her befuddled middle-aged hero with virtuosity, as he teeters between acerbic and sentimental, scoffing at himself even as he grasps for redemption." (The New Yorker)
This book is incredibly well written! It is the deep, real, and hearfelt account of a man's journey through all of the changes, thoughts, and feelings surrounding his wife's coma. It definitely has a sad/melancholy tone, however, and you should listen to it in pieces if you are at all susceptible to depression. I listened to it for several hours straight one day and loved it, but found I was in a bit of a funk for a bit afterwards. Lol. That said, the story remains full of hope and promise for the future of the main character and his daughters as they move forward as a family.
I really enjoyed this book. All of the characters helped drive the story. It has many layers, losing a parent, realizing they aren't perfect, mixed feelings with the grief process. It is much better than the movie. In the book the reader understands and sympathizes with each characters behavior
It was essentially a story about the bond of family, but told in an unconventional way to show how a family can evolve and grow stronger even in the face of conflict and tragedy. The story is told well, the themes are subtly revealed through truly endearing characters.
It wasn't so much one character but the combination of the father and his two daughters.
The plot was certainly interesting but it was the characters that brought this story to life. The author really takes you through the mind of a father as he juggles many complex emotions, and most are not easy. Yet somehow through everything that happens, his story is not tragic at all--listening to the story is a heart warming experience, not a sad one.
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Touching, Powerful, Humorous
The emotions it evokes in the reader as you go along on this journey.
This story provides a touching glimpse into love, loss and responsibility. Matt King is the scion of old Hawaii money, it it appears that he has it all: a lovely wife, two daughters, a career, and the decision making power over a prime piece of Kauai'i real estate. But then he doesn't have it all: The wife has a disastrous accident, the daughters are troubled, and the responsibility of the decision seems to be coming at a difficult time for him personally. The narrator's tone is perfect, and captures the sense of the main character's emotional muddle. I had seen the movie, and started to skip the book, but while the movie is very faithful to the book, the book itself seems to suspend time while the family is living through its trauma.
Audible started me reading fiction again. What a treat to have professional actors narrating a book I may not have had the time to "read".
Overall this is a sad story and keeps getting more and more depressing. The lack of parenting skills attributed to the father made me cringe. Once again a father tries to be a friend instead of a parent. In real life this is a recipe for failure. What we come to learn about the mother is very disappointing as well. The only reason I didn't give it a lower rating is that oddly enough, a lot of this book was well written. Too bad the author didn't pick another subject.
I'm finding it hard to write a review without divulging the story. I can say that I think the narrator does a really good job. He appropriately voices with sensitivity and humor, and even the female voices sound natural.
That being said, this might be a case where the movie is more enjoyable than the audiobook. George Clooney - just saying!
When this movie came out, I didn't think it looked very interesting. Then I came across the novel here in Audible. I had it on my wish list for a very long time, before taking the plunge and spending a credit. I am so happy that I did, because this far exceeded my expectations! I still haven't seen the movie, but I'm definitely going to look for it, as I enjoyed the book so much.
I would listen to it again if enough time passed after the first time. It was an interesting story.
My favorite character was the daughter's boyfriend. He started out as a jerk and as you got to know him, it changed your opinion. He really was a help to the entire family without really trying to be.
No, I have not
Following the roots of family
I enjoyed this book and I intend to recommend it to my book club. Thanks for the chance to talk about it.
No once was enough for this one.
The confrontation with the "other man".
waiting for my wife to die
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