I have never been a fan of movie tie-in, especially when a blockbuster is made out of some unknown novel. I don’t always watch the movie even after I have read the book, but I never watch a movie before I read the original. That said, I have resisted George Clooney’s film adaptation because I have not had a chance to read The Descendants by Kaui Hart Hemmings. I was aiming to read it all in one weekend, except the reading plan was pleasantly interrupted by a trip up to the Napa wine country to taste the pinot noir and to appreciate the fall colors. After reading an article in Wall Street Journal, I push the book up on my list. The Descendants was Hemmings’s first novel. A former Stegner fellow (any correlation to Wallace Stegner catches my attention) at Stanford University, she had published a well-received book of short stories entitled House of Thieves in 2005. Contemporary Hawaii is the setting for both books and the decaying aristocracy of the Hawaiian islands is their recurring theme. So far I’m touched by the story of a detached father who’s forced to become more involved in his two daughters’ lives after an accident involving his wife and their mother, perhaps because of his personal experience in parenting a young daughter. Humor exudes from his exchange with his 10-year-old daughter, who gets in trouble for making inappropriate mark about her peer, and with his help Esther, who uses lard in her cooking. Now that I have filled out my absentee ballot and put election off my mind, I can really focus on reading.