Struggling to fulfill their dying father’s final bequest, a privileged Chinese-American family in Silicon Valley is forced to contend with the truth of their own lives in this clever and perceptive family drama that combines the warmth of The Nest, the humor of Crazy Rich Asians, and the dark optimism of Behold the Dreamers.
Disclaimer: I received an ARC of Family Trust from William Morrow Books in exchange for an honest review.
On the surface, the Huangs are like any other wealthy Chinese-American family. However, a few chapters into Kathy Wang’s FAMILY TRUST, the reader can tell that this isn’t the case. When Stanley Huang, the family’s patriarch is diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, the already-present cracks in the lives of the family members begin to widen, as selfish motives are revealed and family secrets are exposed.
As his illness progresses, Stanley’s children, Fred and Kate, grapple with their career dissatisfactions, upending relationships, and concerns about how much of his presumed fortune they’ll receive. On the other hand, his ex-wife, Linda relishes her freedom from Stanley and begins internet dating. His current wife, Mary, twenty eight years his junior, is focused on making him comfortable; rubbing his feet and cooking traditional healing broths in hopes of financial security when Stanley dies.
I struggled with getting into this novel and only stayed because every time I wanted to quit, something shocking or wildly entertaining would happen. Then, I’d just need to know, what next? The initial pacing was too slow, but as the book wound down, I could see why the author had to set up events the way she did. I was hooked by the sixty percent mark.
In FAMILY TRUST, Wang displays tremendous insight into the cultural expectations placed on the Huangs. I also enjoyed her portrayals of Kate and Linda; two smart women excelling in their careers in spite of the self-centered attitudes of their husbands. Many times, the plot surprised, challenged, and entertained me. From Linda’s cynicism toward all Stanley-related issues, Fred’s drama with his long-time girlfriend, Erika, and the fascinating relationship between Kate and Camilla.
There’s a juicy amount of family drama in this novel and although all but a couple of the main characters are unlikeable, FAMILY TRUST addresses so many important issues. The novel tackles male selfishness in marriages and relationships, the crazy world of the filthy rich, the Silicon Valley lifestyle, career ambitions and the challenges of aging.If you're a fan of family dramas; curious about Silicon Valley; or just love a juicy, entertaining novel, FAMILY TRUST is for you. Click To Tweet
If you’re a fan of family dramas; curious about Silicon Valley; or just love a juicy, entertaining novel, FAMILY TRUST is for you.
Have you read FAMILY TRUST? What did you think?
For a list of 22 other books released last fall, check out this post.