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Publisher's Summary

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
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Critic Reviews

"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)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Pamela Harvey on 07-04-11

Try it, you'll love it!

I came to this novel through watching a trailer for the movie by the same name. We'll have to wait a bit for the movie, but in the meantime, content yourself with this read. As mentioned in the book blurbs, the movie features George Clooney, and after watching some of the scenes unfold, when reading the book, his persona infuses every scene. To the complete advantage of the entire story, I will add.

This novel has that perfectly dissonant blend of humor and grace, of sarcasm and solemnity, and brilliantly handles all those "OMG what do I do now?" moments with unbelievable delicacy and with a moment-by-moment way of working things out. The added base note and a solid character in its own right is the lush ecosystem of the Hawaiian islands and their culture, and the main character's historical and emotional connection to that environment, where his family has lived and prospered for centuries. Not just another family drama in paradise! Read this one, you won't be sorry. And I think you'll enjoy the movie all the more.

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36 of 38 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By William on 01-30-12

Endearing story - No One Handle Death the Same

Death, cheating and love. What happens when a family has to deal with their personal world falling down, while the world moves forward.
Good book, I see why they made it into a movie. Sorry guys, no blood, gore, or gratuitous sex. This book just deals with a man trying to do the best he can, as he has to deal with emotions, and sometimes that is painful.

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23 of 24 people found this review helpful

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