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 was interesting to listen to, even after having seen the movie. (Did I hear George Clooney being on a T-Shirt or something in the book?) Reading this one really gets all the nuances not portrayed in the movie.
I love the fact that this is written from the man's perspective. First, it is usually the man having the affair, not the reverse. It is also not surprising that the father is really clueless about what is really going on with his children, no less his daughters; but the mother is as well in this story. And so we hear what he is thinking about; his dawning recognition of how his wife has mishandled not only their marriage but also raising their children.
The narration was not demanding and therefore, fine. There is nothing spectacular about the performance, but it certainly was done without problems.
Even if you have seen the movie, but especially if you haven't, this is a great tale about families. The good parts, and the bad. Very enjoyable book.
I'm a bibliophile since early childhood. Love speculative fiction, odd premises, mystery novels that teach about different places and times.
There's something sadly missing here. The movie was sad, clunky and kind of neat because it contrasted so well with the outward lives of these people.You could feel the limits and the lacks in them.
It's really easy to hate the mean girl qualities in the adults as well as the children. And some how, without George Cluny's eyes, much harder to forgive.
I may or may not finish this book. So far, I want to do vile things to these very unredeemed and unredeemable brats in paradise.
I don't think so. The charcters were not very compelling.
I really didn't grow to like the mother, around whom the plot revolved.
I didn't know much about the story line before I read this book, because I wanted to be surprised. I knew it was about a Father's relationship with his children, and that something happened to the wife. I also knew it was made into a movie with George Clooney, so I expected a really good story. NOT!
I came away with a great sense of sadness, wondering why anyone would even write a book about watching somebody die. I've done that, and it's NOT fun!!!
I don't think the story really told anything serious about being a Hawaiian Descendent, other than the desire to preserve the State. Kudos for that.
The growing/bonding experience between the Father and his children could have been stimulated by anything and I think it would have been better. Yes, that part was funny and meaningful.
I could go on... but I won't. I will NOT recommend the book; and I can only hope the writers REWROTE THE STORY for the movie. There are way too many GOOD stories out there, without going here!
This was one of Audible's "Sounds of Setting" picks, I absolutely loved it.
The dysfunctional family dynamic felt so real, the children didn't feel forced or trite, which can so easily be the case, especially when writing about teenage girls and children as young as 10. The continuing theme of ancestry and heritage tied in beautifully with the story theme. It was just an entertaining, deep, emotional, great listen.
About 10 years ago my kids gave me an Audible account for my birthday. It was the best birthday present ever!
Matt King concentrated on his law career, choosing not to involve himself with decisions made by his wife - about their daughters, their marital relationship and more. When she is seriously injured in a boating accident, he steps up to the challenge of an uncertain future with practicality, sorrow, confusion, determination and humor. Good movie (with George Clooney). Loved the book.
Did not like the way it ended.
Or maybe it did not download completely. Also, I did not like the way each chapter was began with a quip from the title of the book.
I love listening to audio books on my commute to and from work
The book was great, but I was disappointed at the narrators mispronunciation of many of the Hawaiian words and places.
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