I’ve read your chapter. I agree with Ana that Mia should have to fight for Kekoa. My thoughts are that her father should be dismissive, defensive and protective.
- Dismissive – Don’t be ridiculous. She was only in Hawaii a week. She couldn’t have fallen in love. Real life isn’t a vacation. She got to have an irresponsible, carefree week of indulgence, but now it’s time to get back to real life and real responsibilities. Act like an adult.
- Defensive – The sacrifices he made for his children, making sure they had the best of everything, teaching them to respect their culture while allowing them to make their own decisions. He didn’t push her to Vuk. She made that decision on his own. How dare she blame him when the decision was hers?
- Protective – I think this is the crux of all of it, and maybe you don’t even get to it in this chapter, but it can be the motivation for his reaction. Cast out of his community—the loss of his support system, he knows how he struggled and he doesn’t want that for his children. He would never disown them, but wouldn’t the desire to insulate them from hardship still be there? Maybe, because of his experience, once he had children, he leaned heavily into their culture, wanting their lives to be easier than his.
I don’t think any of this makes her dad seem evil or unlikable. We all react and overreact, and sometimes what motivates our behavior isn’t obvious to others. At some point during the conversation, she might start to cry, thinking she’s going to have to choose. You could have everything resolved in the one conversation, but you could also have her leave thinking she has an awful choice to make. Then have her dad come to her later to give his blessing and explain his reaction.
Just a few thoughts. It may not be exactly what you’re looking for, but maybe it’ll get some ideas flowing.