Narrated in a fearless voice full of bold hilarity and set against the lush, panoramic backdrop of Hawaii, The Descendants is a stunning debut novel about an unconventional family forced to come together and re-create its own legacy.
A descendant of one of Hawaii’s largest landowners, Matthew King finds his luck has changed. His two daughters – Scottie, a feisty ten-year-old, and Alex, a teenage recovering drug addict – are out of control; his thrill-seeking, high-maintenance wife, Joanie, lies in a coma after a boat-racing accident and will soon be taken off life support. Suddenly the King family must come to terms with this tragedy – and with the shameful sense of freedom that comes with it.
As Matt gathers Joanie’s friends and family to say their final goodbyes, a difficult situation is made worse by the discovery that one person hasn’t been told – the man with whom Joanie has been having an affair. Forced to examine what he owes not only to the living but also to the dead, Matt takes to the road with his daughters to find his wife’s lover on a memorable journey of painful revelations and unforeseen humour.
About The Author
Kaui Hart Hemmings is the author of the critically acclaimed short-story collection House of Thieves. Her writing has appeared in Zoetrope, Best New American Voices 2006, and The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2004. Hemmings grew up in Hawaii and lives with her husband and daughter in San Francisco.
About the Contributor
While still in his twenties, John Purcell opened a second-hand bookshop in Mosman, Sydney, in which he sat for ten years reading, ranting and writing. Since then he has written, under a pseudonym, a series of very successful novels, interviewed hundreds of writers about their work, appeared at writers’ festivals, on TV (most bizarrely in comedian Luke McGregor’s documentary Luke Warm Sex) and has been featured in prominent newspapers and magazines. Now, as the Director of Books at booktopia.com.au, Australia’s largest online bookseller, he supports Australian writing in all its forms. He lives in Sydney with his wife, two children, three dogs, five cats, unnumbered gold fish and his overlarge book collection. His novel, The Girl on the Page, will be published by HarperCollins Australia in October, 2018.