Since last fall, I’ve purchased lots of books at our local Half Price Books Outlet, which is kind of my new favorite place ever. Where else can you find great books for 25 cents? Anyway, The Descendants happened to be one of those purchases. I’ve only seen the film once, but that was enough to spark my interest in reading the book that went on to be the winner of the Best Adapted Screenplay category at the Oscars in 2012. I had somewhat mixed feelings while reading the book, and it certainly took me longer than expected to finish it (but, in my defense, I am in my final semester of college. Life is busy.). However, by the end of the novel, I was pleased with the overall experience, and I’d recommend it to fans of the film.
One thing I will say about my feelings of the book is that I was happy to see some things addressed in the novel that had been bothering me. Matt, the patriarch and narrator of this novel, is kind of a frustrating character. I was most annoyed by how he acted as times as a father; he was often uncommunicative and very distant from his daughters, and that really frustrated me. Later in the book, though, this was addressed by Matt himself and his older daughter, Alex, which made me very happy that what I thought were holes in the story were actually relevant to character development.
On another side note, while finishing the book yesterday, I unexpectedly found myself crying. A lot. It’s obviously an emotional story (Matt and his daughters are forced to come together because of his wife’s permanent coma), but I didn’t expect to react the way I did. There are a few very poignant scenes at the conclusion of the novel that absolutely make it worth reading.