Family Trust
Meet Stanley Huang: father, husband, ex-husband, man of unpredictable tastes and temper, aficionado of all-inclusive vacations and bargain luxury goods, newly diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. For years, Stanley has claimed that he’s worth a small fortune. But the time is now coming when the details of his estate will finally be revealed, and Stanley’s family is nervous.For his son Fred, the inheritance Stanley has long alluded to would soothe the pain caused by years of professional disappointment. By now, the Harvard Business School graduate had expected to be a financial tech god – not a minor investor at a middling corporate firm, where he isn’t even allowed to fly business class.Stanley’s daughter, Kate, is a middle manager with one of Silicon Valley’s most prestigious tech companies. She manages the capricious demands of her world-famous boss and the needs of her two young children all while supporting her would-be entrepreneur husband (just until his startup gets off the ground, which will surely be soon). But lately, Kate has been sensing something amiss; just because you say you have it all, it doesn’t mean that you actually do. Stanley’s second wife, Mary Zhu, twenty-eight years his junior, has devoted herself to making her husband comfortable in every way—rubbing his feet, cooking his favorite dishes, massaging his ego. But lately, her commitment has waned; caring for a dying old man is far more difficult than she expected.Linda Liang, Stanley’s first wife, knows her ex better than anyone. She worked hard for decades to ensure their financial security, and is determined to see her children get their due. Single for nearly a decade, she might finally be ready for some romantic companionship. But where does a seventy-two year old Chinese woman in California go to find an appropriate boyfriend?As Stanley’s death approaches, the Huangs are faced with unexpected challenges that upend them and eventually lead them to discover what they most value. A compelling tale of cultural expectations, career ambitions and our relationships with the people who know us best, Family Trust skewers the ambition and desires that drive Silicon Valley and draws a sharply loving portrait of modern American family life.

Family Trust Details

TitleFamily Trust
Author
ReleaseOct 30th, 2018
PublisherWilliam Morrow
ISBN-139780062855251
Rating
GenreFiction, Contemporary

Family Trust Review

  • Emily May
    January 1, 1970
    how early the days turned black once winter began. Ooh, this is a good book for fans of those literary family dramas about rich people and the unbelieavable shit they get up to. It's sort of like a Celeste Ng novel but with a bit more melodrama and obnoxiousness; a bit like a quieter, more serious Crazy Rich Asians.It's a story about a wealthy Chinese-American family in Silicon Valley, and how their patriarch's pancreatic cancer diagnosis affects them all. The similarities with Ng's work are how early the days turned black once winter began. Ooh, this is a good book for fans of those literary family dramas about rich people and the unbelieavable shit they get up to. It's sort of like a Celeste Ng novel but with a bit more melodrama and obnoxiousness; a bit like a quieter, more serious Crazy Rich Asians.It's a story about a wealthy Chinese-American family in Silicon Valley, and how their patriarch's pancreatic cancer diagnosis affects them all. The similarities with Ng's work are most obvious in the way Wang explores character interactions and tells her story through details and careful observations of human behaviour. The characters are in turn annoying and sympathetic, which makes for an interesting and multilayered read.There's Stanley Huang himself-- a selfish old man prone to violent fits of temper. There's his smart and financially savvy ex-wife Linda, who has just gotten into online dating; his son Fred, a Harvard Business School graduate who is trying to boost his career and impress his gold-digging girlfriend; his daughter Kate, the breadwinner in her household, currently supporting her husband's start-up; and his second wife Mary, who may or may not be lurking in hopes of a shiny inheritance.If you like books about carefully-drawn characters and some juicy drama, Family Trust should hit the spot. Wang handles each character with care and sensitivity, but also isn’t afraid to poke fun at them. Humans are ridiculous, especially in the upper echelons of the business world, so be prepared to roll your eyes at times— such as when Fred despairs over his mediocre achievement of landing a job with a $300K salary(!) What was Denny up to in the attic? What was her husband doing with his life? Additionally, the mysteries of Stanley's will and finding out exactly what Kate's husband gets up to in the attic every day make for a compelling read. Really, though, there is an even greater value in this book. It serves as a portrait of a modern generation of Chinese-Americans who have been pushed to achieve, attend America's best schools, and break into the business and tech worlds. Wang portrays this world with its flashy promises and subtle racism and not-so-subtle sexism, and taps into an experience that many East Asians are having right now in America. In the 2010 census, East Asians made up just over 4% of the US population and yet in 2013 they made up more than 20% of the workforce at Google, Intel, Yahoo, Hewlett Packard, and LinkedIn. One Chinese-American engineer described feeling "stuck in between" being Asian in Silicon Valley; viewed as a high-performing and privileged group, often overlooked in affirmative action programs, but still stereotyped and held back from the majority of executive positions. The experiences had by Fred and Kate in this book will mirror that of many others in the second decade of the 21st Century. And for those readers, like me, who do not fully relate, it is perhaps even more interesting to gain insight into the lives of Chinese and East-Asian Americans in Silicon Valley. A valuable, engaging read.Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Youtube
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  • Katie B
    January 1, 1970
    I'm kinda left with this empty feeling. It's like this book lacked heart and there was this coldness to it. And maybe that was intentional given so much of the focus is on what a dying man is leaving in his will and who will get what. In a family drama though I expect to feel more for the characters than I did with this one.Stanley Huang has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. His ex-wife, Linda, encourages her adult children to get Stanley to divulge how much he is worth and who gets what so I'm kinda left with this empty feeling. It's like this book lacked heart and there was this coldness to it. And maybe that was intentional given so much of the focus is on what a dying man is leaving in his will and who will get what. In a family drama though I expect to feel more for the characters than I did with this one.Stanley Huang has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. His ex-wife, Linda, encourages her adult children to get Stanley to divulge how much he is worth and who gets what so there are no problems with his second wife, Mary, after he dies. Linda wants to makes sure her kids get their fair share given she was the one who was the primary breadwinner when she and Stanley were married. With Stanley's death approaching, Linda, her two kids, and Mary will all face challenges that will make them question what is really important.The book gets off to a really slow start because there is too much focus on business and the lives of characters who really have nothing to do with the story. The book alternates chapters between different family members and so you are just getting to know the main characters but you're also getting all this unnecessary info which makes it overwhelming to read. Thankfully, after about 100 pages, you finally will feel like you are starting to understand this family a bit better.I liked the idea behind this book but I can't say I loved this story. If you are looking for a book that explores the business side of Silicon Valley and people motivated by money, this is a decent pick. But as a family drama, I just don't think this comes close to matching some of the other books I have read recently. I won a free copy of this book from LibraryThing's Early Reviewers program. I was under no obligation to post a review and all views expressed are my honest opinion.
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  • DJ Sakata
    January 1, 1970
    Favorite Quotes:Erika didn’t like most ethnic restaurants, and in particular the cheap authentic ones, an admission that in native Bay Area circles was viewed with the same muted horror as Holocaust denial or the use of trans fats.…her fingers flew past an array of the graying and bald. “Here’s someone I went on a date with last week,” she said. “But he was only interested in, you know, a nurse with a purse.”Do not speak to her again. Someone like that, you end all communication, immediately. Wi Favorite Quotes:Erika didn’t like most ethnic restaurants, and in particular the cheap authentic ones, an admission that in native Bay Area circles was viewed with the same muted horror as Holocaust denial or the use of trans fats.…her fingers flew past an array of the graying and bald. “Here’s someone I went on a date with last week,” she said. “But he was only interested in, you know, a nurse with a purse.”Do not speak to her again. Someone like that, you end all communication, immediately. Witches feed off attention. Take away the broom, they can’t fly. All right?Linda was satisfied to note that Teddy, the alleged future husband of Shirley Chang, was at least the same height if not shorter than Winston and had the same pitch-black pomade hairstyle—it must be a trend with older Asian men, she thought, just like how all the women simultaneously emerged with the same enormous perms after sixty.My Review:This book was a bit uneven for me, but maybe it was just flying several levels over my head as I have zero interest in venture capitalism or corporate lifestyles as those topics are more than my tiny brain can comprehend and tends to scorch the little pea inside. However, I seem to quickly queue up for all the snark and salacious details mined from this unusual family’s tangled secrets and snide inner musings. The storylines were complex and highly nuanced with generous servings of razor-sharp wit and eviscerating observations. It was well worth wading through the more tedious detritus of their obsessive financial wranglings to get to their peculiar predicaments and curiously confounding choices. They seemed overly driven and nearly consumed with amassing status and money, and how they were being seen while doing so. The vast majority of this large and oddly intriguing cast of characters were rather vile, although Stanley was full-on heinous. I was equally repulsed and fascinated, and couldn’t quite seem to get enough or a full grasp of what was transpiring – what does that say about me? I have not yet read Crazy Rich Asians, and while I really wish I had, I also know I’d actually rather be one.
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  • Margo Littell
    January 1, 1970
    When Huang family patriarch Stanley receives a harrowing diagnosis from his doctor, his family is forced to confront the reality that he has very little time left. They accept the news with varying degrees of grief. Stanley’s children, Fred and Kate, can’t fully forgive his transgressions from their childhood. Stanley’s ex-wife, Linda, still resents how badly he handled the money she made for them when they were married. And Stanley’s much younger second wife, Mary, accepts that caring for an el When Huang family patriarch Stanley receives a harrowing diagnosis from his doctor, his family is forced to confront the reality that he has very little time left. They accept the news with varying degrees of grief. Stanley’s children, Fred and Kate, can’t fully forgive his transgressions from their childhood. Stanley’s ex-wife, Linda, still resents how badly he handled the money she made for them when they were married. And Stanley’s much younger second wife, Mary, accepts that caring for an elderly man is exactly what she signed up for--as long as a windfall is on the other side. But no one knows exactly how much Stanley is worth, or the contents of his will. They can’t say it outright to each other, but each wonders obsessively: How much will I get when Stanley is gone?Fred’s disastrous personal and professional choices, Kate’s marital implosion, and Linda’s unexpected connection with an internet love interest heighten their fixation on Stanley’s will, which comes to represent a measure of freedom--if any money exists at all. Set in a Silicon Valley that is as monstrous and absurd as it is true to life, Family Trust examines the nature of family loyalty and obligation, as well as the choices that set lives on seemingly irreversible courses. ***Review originally written for the City Book Review. I received a free ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.***
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  • Elyse Walters
    January 1, 1970
    Déjà vu, déjà vu, déjà vu.....I’m not going to finish this because I wasn’t enjoying it enough. I live here in Silicon Valley… So I thought I might enjoy this. It’s not a bad book....but I rather read something else.If you want to see more specific problems I’m having with it then read a little review I just wrote a few minutes ago - or not - about the BOOK...”Crazy Rich Asians”, by Kevin Kwan
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  • Jenny Lehnhoff
    January 1, 1970
    When Stanley Huang develops life threatening pancreatic cancer, the successful twice married father of two must put his affairs in order. Can Stanley pass on his legacy while his family: Linda, ex-wife of 34 years, Fred and Kate, his adult children, and second wife Mary of 9 years squabble on who gets the fair share of the inheritance? I really enjoyed Family Trust because of its strong character development and its ability to make me think of my own family dynamics. Although some of the passag When Stanley Huang develops life threatening pancreatic cancer, the successful twice married father of two must put his affairs in order. Can Stanley pass on his legacy while his family: Linda, ex-wife of 34 years, Fred and Kate, his adult children, and second wife Mary of 9 years squabble on who gets the fair share of the inheritance? I really enjoyed Family Trust because of its strong character development and its ability to make me think of my own family dynamics. Although some of the passages about the corporate world dragged for me, I would definitely recommend this book as a must read for lovers of fiction. Although I gave this book a five star rating, I would have enjoyed the story more if there was fewer content on the business world. However, I did recognize the elaborate set up the author created in order to make the ending fantastic (which is why it is five stars). In terms of potentially offensive content, Family Trust is an adult novel with adult themes. There are a few swear words sprinkled here or there and the occasional mention of sexual content. However, these things are few and only mentioned when necessary for content. I felt the story was especially strong in the area of character development. The author focused on only a handful of main characters. Each main character was given their own chapters in order to advance the narrative in their point of view. This paid off especially well at the end because I thoroughly understood where each character was coming from in their actions. In conclusion, I highly recommend that this book be a must-read. It really is an enjoyable experience.
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  • Nicole Wagner
    January 1, 1970
    This is a tough book to characterize, but I loved it. There are so many misconceptions about the wealthy. This book pokes and prods those, revealing that some clichés have merit and others are more complex than one may imagine. The Bay Area/Silicon Valley is sort of a hotbed of new money and hungry business startups, and the story takes place there. This book is ironically funny, tentatively tender, and entirely fascinating.
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  • Angela Johnson
    January 1, 1970
    I received this ARC from a goodreads giveaway hosted by William Morrow Books! And here is my honest review: The first thing that caught my attention was this cover. Is it not beautiful? The gold and red contrast in such a gorgeous way and the gold floral design weaves in and out of the text.When I held this book, the best description I could come up with was meaty. It felt thick, it felt like there were a lot of words, a lot of story to tell.I wasn't disappointed. This is a family drama. Charact I received this ARC from a goodreads giveaway hosted by William Morrow Books! And here is my honest review: The first thing that caught my attention was this cover. Is it not beautiful? The gold and red contrast in such a gorgeous way and the gold floral design weaves in and out of the text.When I held this book, the best description I could come up with was meaty. It felt thick, it felt like there were a lot of words, a lot of story to tell.I wasn't disappointed. This is a family drama. Characters and characteristics you'll both love and hate. Situations that we've all heard about on the news, or more intimately through friends or family, or maybe even experienced. The trials and tribulations of relationships: marriages, parenthood, childhood, working relationships, friendships. I felt satisfaction as I finished this book. The format was something I particularly find alluring in novels. 4 different point of views, alternating between. It keeps the story from getting stale, or too involved, it gives you breaks. It gives you cliff-hangers and then lets you forget about that character just long enough to be jolted when you turn the page and it's back to their chapter. This book follows the Huang family: Stanley & Linda and their two grown children Kate and Fred. Stanley and Linda are divorced and have been for about a decade when the book begins. Stanley has since remarried to Mary, a woman very much his "junior." Kate is married with two small children of her own. Fred is in a relationship with an angling saleswoman, Erika, and he's already been married and divorced.Some of the quotes in this book just left me wanting to read and re-read the lines over again. For example "Instead, life just seemed to be a series of small mistakes, which you continued to make over and over again." Isn't that just so perfectly true and insightful?One underlying theme I noticed was that the Huangs were all a little angry - they may have shown it in different avenues, but they all were nursing feelings of injustice, whether valid or not. Sometimes it cast bit of a cynical view on people and life, but realistic, and not overwhelmingly so, just honest.Another aspect of author, Kathy Wang's writing that I really enjoyed was her set up. Sometimes I'd be reading a chapter and think "wait... where is this taking me?" but every anecdotal memory a character recalled had a point and played out immediately after. It was a very satisfying feeling to have the question (where is this going?) answered almost always so immediately. It was an insight into a world I don't know much about, nor am that interested in (financial industry - investing, stocks, venture capitalism, etc). But it didn't beat you up with industry vernacular or bog you down in too many details. It was enough that the reader could understand the situation without drowning in acronyms or numbers. My favorite character was definitely Kate. When you read it, let me know who your favorite was, too!I'd recommend this novel. It comes out in October of 2018! Further, the author has been active on instagram and interacted with my posts, which I always find especially endearing.
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  • J
    January 1, 1970
    This book is amazing.If you come from a family with no money, this will fascinate you. If you come from a family with tons of money, this will fascinate you too. And make you cringe. And laugh. And yell “OMG NO” in response to some of this wild dialog.Anyway I really enjoyed it, so. Highly recommend.
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  • Reading Fool
    January 1, 1970
    I received an Advance Reader's Copy of this book.Stanley Huang is dying of pancreatic cancer, and as the patriarch of the Huang family, he wants to gather his ex-wife, son, daughter, and current wife. This story has multiple layers - commentary on Chinese-American families, Silicon Valley, failing marriages, parents' expectations of their children, and so much more. Told in alternating chapters from the different characters' perspectives, this very impressive debut novel is complex, interesting, I received an Advance Reader's Copy of this book.Stanley Huang is dying of pancreatic cancer, and as the patriarch of the Huang family, he wants to gather his ex-wife, son, daughter, and current wife. This story has multiple layers - commentary on Chinese-American families, Silicon Valley, failing marriages, parents' expectations of their children, and so much more. Told in alternating chapters from the different characters' perspectives, this very impressive debut novel is complex, interesting, and one that I could not put down. The writing is so witty, and there were so many relatable moments, whether you're Asian or not. I loved this book!
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  • Jaclyn
    January 1, 1970
    Finally -- a book to satisfy my post-Crazy Rich Asians cravings!I absolutely loved this book. Where Kevin Kwan's trilogy was an affectionately hilarious take on the super rich Chinese families in Asia, Kathy Wang's story is a biting yet heartfelt comedy on a wannabe rich Chinese American family in Silicon Valley. It's a story that feels universal -- any rich family can have a similar battle over inheritance. But it's also specifically Silicon Valley, with the conversations around wealth and the Finally -- a book to satisfy my post-Crazy Rich Asians cravings!I absolutely loved this book. Where Kevin Kwan's trilogy was an affectionately hilarious take on the super rich Chinese families in Asia, Kathy Wang's story is a biting yet heartfelt comedy on a wannabe rich Chinese American family in Silicon Valley. It's a story that feels universal -- any rich family can have a similar battle over inheritance. But it's also specifically Silicon Valley, with the conversations around wealth and the tech innovation approaches to achieve wealth. And there are little touches that feel uniquely Chinese -- and more accurately, Chinese-American and first+second generation immigrant. Things like the network of friends/rivals built amongst Chinese immigrants in America, the subtly ostentatious displays of wealth that signal the difference between rich and wannabe rich, the idea of the American dream and the lives in Asia people give up for their shot at it. Things I can't quite quantify in words, but are woven through the text that makes it feel like an Asian-American story. It doesn't have as many of the sly insider details as Kwan's trilogy, but it's still to me a big win for Asian American rep in contemporary fiction, and I think will appeal to fans of Crazy Rich Asians. Family patriarch Stanley is dying and his family -- ex-wife Linda, daughter Kate, son (name?) and current wife Mary -- are all angling for their inheritance. Linda has little faith in Stanley's financial skills and urges her kids to basically get a dollar figure in writing from their father. She also decided to try online dating for a lark, and I just love how formidable and likeable this woman is. Michelle Yeoh may be a bit young to play her, but I'd love to see Michelle bring this character to life onscreen.Kate is the family peacemaker / caregiver, a woman who is kicking ass career wise and has a great family, but discovers her husband (a supposed genius trying to start his own business) may be hiding something from her.The son reminds me of the Eddie character in Crazy Rich Asians -- always angling for the next step up in the corporate ladder and wondering why he isn't getting his due reward for his financial and business genius. A former classmate makes him an offer that may make his dreams of major wealth and entry into top-tier Silicon Valley C-suites come true, and the results are hilariously fitting.I also loved Mary's chapter -- she knows who she is within the family dynamic and loves Stanley for the financial stability and relative comfort he brings to her life. She massages his feet and makes him feel like a king, and he gives her money and a house. It's all very clear and straightforward and I like how Kathy Wang shows how she does have genuine affection for Stanley instead of painting her as totally avaricious. This holds true for the other characters -- despite the discussions over inheritance and wealth, Wang keeps them all human and sympathetic.Even Stanley -- whom we learn has anger management issues and a history of obfuscating the truth to make himself feel more important -- is portrayed with sympathy, and by the end appears almost like a King Lear tragic figure, a man who wanted to be larger than life but cannot escape the realities of age.Finally, I love the feminist feel of this book. While the men in the Huang family are the ones most overtly grasping at wealth and corporate success -- and most bombastic about their claims to such -- it is the women who reveal themselves as the true successes, which they've achieved through much quieter means. I love that because the idea of the American Dream often rewards the extroverted and the ruthlessly ambitious. So I love this nod to the Susan Cain-esque quiet revolution, where you don't have to be a Type A go-getter to achieve success. +Thanks to Harper Collins Canada for an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Travel.with.a.book
    January 1, 1970
    Family Trust is a very delightful novel, I really enjoyed it from the very first pages and I can say that this book is in my top 10 reads of the Year!I really want to thank the Publishers William Morrow Books for sending me this stunning copy!.This book is very fascinating and ironically funny, the dialogues are very outrageous and some parts left me speechless, I really want to congratulate the Author for writing such a masterpiece book she really is talented and professional and I look forward Family Trust is a very delightful novel, I really enjoyed it from the very first pages and I can say that this book is in my top 10 reads of the Year!I really want to thank the Publishers William Morrow Books for sending me this stunning copy!.This book is very fascinating and ironically funny, the dialogues are very outrageous and some parts left me speechless, I really want to congratulate the Author for writing such a masterpiece book she really is talented and professional and I look forward to read more from the Author!Every detail in the book is so perfect, and the cover is so pretty and divine, I really love the fusion of gold floral design in the red color! So the novel is a family drama and I can say one of the best from this Year, it really is unique and interesting!.The book starts with the Huang family, so the main characters are Stanley and Linda and their two children Fred and Kate, but then we see that Stanley and Linda are divorced and Stanley has been remarried wjth Mary, also Kate their daughter is married and has two childrens and their son Fred was married and divorced now he is in a relationship with Erika..I really loved Kathy's writings in different point of views, she really has a rare talent to write a book and to put your mind within the book. I really loved Mary's chapter it really has interesting writings that we all look for in a dynamic family drama, also Kate is such a fantastic and independent woman I really can name her as a heroine because the Author has given her the best virtues one can get and I loved it because her chapter was lovely and reasonable!.This book is in my top 10 reads of the Year from all 184 books I've read so I highly recommend you to pick a copy because you'll fall in love with Huang's family drama!
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  • Claire
    January 1, 1970
    I received Family Trust as part of a Goodreads giveaway.Family patriarch Stanley Huang has been diagnosed with a terminal case of pancreatic cancer. For years he has reassured his family that they will be taken care of when he passes with a generous inheritance. Now that that time is near, those closest to him becoming increasingly concerned with their features as they face an array of personal and professional crises. Stanley's son Fred, despite an Ivy League education, struggles to rise to the I received Family Trust as part of a Goodreads giveaway.Family patriarch Stanley Huang has been diagnosed with a terminal case of pancreatic cancer. For years he has reassured his family that they will be taken care of when he passes with a generous inheritance. Now that that time is near, those closest to him becoming increasingly concerned with their features as they face an array of personal and professional crises. Stanley's son Fred, despite an Ivy League education, struggles to rise to the heights of success he feels he deserves. Meanwhile, Stanley's daughter Kate manages a fairly successful career, though her family life is imploding before her eyes. His ex-wife (and Stanley and Kate's mother) Linda wades into the world of online dating while staying intent on making sure her children get their due from Stanley's estate. Finally, all three are suspicious of Stanley's much younger second wife, Mary, who they suspect of neglecting his care so that she might live the life of a rich widow once Stanley is gone.I loved this book. Not because you're cheering for any of the characters--by and large they're not terribly likable people. But it's a fascinating world, a privileged family aspiring to even higher echelons of wealth and power, all while battling expectations and racism tied into their identities as Asians and Asian-Americans. Couldn't put it down.
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  • Virginia Gavin
    January 1, 1970
    I love,loved,loved this book!Funny,sad,poignant-you will find yourself drawn in to this family's story.I'd give it 10 stars if I could.One of my favorite books this year!
  • Sejal
    January 1, 1970
    This book was interesting and not what I was expecting. I had categorized it in the "lighter chick lit" category which is my mistake and possibly some of the marketing, but in reality it is more a wry and quite literary family saga in the vein of THE CORRECTIONS than the sort of Nest + Jodi Picoult I first thought it was. If you think it will be warm and easy to read then I can see why someone would be disappointed. I like to read reviews I find useful so I will say that if you liked books like This book was interesting and not what I was expecting. I had categorized it in the "lighter chick lit" category which is my mistake and possibly some of the marketing, but in reality it is more a wry and quite literary family saga in the vein of THE CORRECTIONS than the sort of Nest + Jodi Picoult I first thought it was. If you think it will be warm and easy to read then I can see why someone would be disappointed. I like to read reviews I find useful so I will say that if you liked books like AND THEN WE CAME TO THE END and THE LEFTOVERS and the Franzen sort of oeuvre you will like this. If you like more the cozy mystery and warm family drama then this may strike you as harsh. I like all kinds of books dependent on my mood and so was engaged with this novel. Actually a very pleasurable surprise as it is hard to to find that "readable literary" that I prefer. A ending note that as a person of colour living abroad, I was surprised to read some of the reviews referencing race in the book in a negative manner, which is the only reason I was spurred to write a review here at all. This is a novel about another culture in America and I think it is important to be open to other culture's values and identities even if it doesn't "jell" with your own. I am an aspiring (one day, far away day) writer and I shudder to think how a book about British Indians and our family dramas might be received. Thanks to Harper Collins for the early.
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  • Florence Fales
    January 1, 1970
    Family Trust by Kathy Wang was very good!! The story follows the Huang family. The parents divorced after 34 years. The family is Chinese. The father got remarried. He still wanted his children, a son and daughter, to have family dinners including his ex-wife. The daughter Kate and son Fred had lived of their own. The father, Stanley got cancer. He always talked about his money. The Linda, the ex-wife, kept asking the son about the fathers will. The family went through a lot of ups and downs. It Family Trust by Kathy Wang was very good!! The story follows the Huang family. The parents divorced after 34 years. The family is Chinese. The father got remarried. He still wanted his children, a son and daughter, to have family dinners including his ex-wife. The daughter Kate and son Fred had lived of their own. The father, Stanley got cancer. He always talked about his money. The Linda, the ex-wife, kept asking the son about the fathers will. The family went through a lot of ups and downs. It's quite a good read!!!
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  • James M
    January 1, 1970
    Got an advance copy of this book. Really entertaining but also very intelligently written. The writer develops characters really well and draws you into the story. Lots of different threads that intersect in unexpected and funny ways. Loved it!
  • Jessica Woodbury
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 stars. If I'd read this book in 2018 it would have been on my Best Books of 2018 list, and I admit I put it off a bit. It reminded me of some other books I'd read and found just okay, and I haven't really been in the mood to read about wealthy people lately. But a good book is a good book and I devoured this in less than 24 hours. I would have happily read another 100 pages.I didn't devour this book because it turned out to be about perfectly nice characters I enjoyed spending time with. The 4.5 stars. If I'd read this book in 2018 it would have been on my Best Books of 2018 list, and I admit I put it off a bit. It reminded me of some other books I'd read and found just okay, and I haven't really been in the mood to read about wealthy people lately. But a good book is a good book and I devoured this in less than 24 hours. I would have happily read another 100 pages.I didn't devour this book because it turned out to be about perfectly nice characters I enjoyed spending time with. They are all terrible in their own way, and only some of them learn and grow over the course of this book. (Fred is, I believe, irredeemable.) It also isn't a book full of astounding twists and turns. Stanley is dying, his ex-wife and his two children are increasingly frantic about the state of his will, and once you get a feel for who Stanley is you know how this is going to play out and it pretty much does. No, this is one of those books where I was just immediately captivated by the author's voice, by the way everything on the page came alive, and to learn more about who these characters were and where they would go. It is that specific perfect recipe of addictive, just as much or more than any suspense novel, where I hated to put it down. This is a novel that jumps between (mostly) three points of view: Stanley's ex-wife Linda and his two children Fred and Kate. While they're from the same family they're drastically different, especially the generational divide between Linda and her children. To be successful, a book like this must get you to see the contrast between how these characters see each other and how they see themselves, and this works beautifully. Linda, a first-generation immigrant, has a no-nonsense style to her chapters, a practiced and tested reticence that has served her well. Through her children's eyes she is old-fashioned and near-helpless. There's also a lot here about the way members of a family struggle to define each other, especially the way the children view their parents and vice versa.Very much looking forward to everything Kathy Wang writes. Even though I grate at almost every rich-people-problems story that comes my way, even though these characters are almost entirely unlikable, entitled strivers, I loved every minute.
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  • Nicole Swinson
    January 1, 1970
    The story starts off by introducing us to the patriarch of the family Stanley Huang, divorced father of two and remarried to Mary who is twenty-eight years his junior. Stanley has recently been diagnosed with cancer and his family must now deal with the reality that his time is limited. The story is told in point of view from each character in the book; Fred the son who is a Harvard Business School graduate who comes across whiney and unfulfilled with his life. Kate who works for a successful co The story starts off by introducing us to the patriarch of the family Stanley Huang, divorced father of two and remarried to Mary who is twenty-eight years his junior. Stanley has recently been diagnosed with cancer and his family must now deal with the reality that his time is limited. The story is told in point of view from each character in the book; Fred the son who is a Harvard Business School graduate who comes across whiney and unfulfilled with his life. Kate who works for a successful company in Silicon Valley manages to balance work and her family life, that includes supporting her husband as he tries to get his so called start up company off the ground. Mary who married Stanley because he had a home and money to take care of her, she in turns dotes on his every need. Then my favorite character Linda, Stanley’s first wife who finds herself trying to find love in the online dating world. Stanley always alluded he was a wealthy man and now family is all wondering what is going to be left to them when Stanley’s time comes.I felt the book lacked some luster, reading through chapters I felt I could not connect with the characters, except for Linda. It also bother that the word ostentatious was used more than I care for within the first 50-60 pages. The story line is good, I just was hoping for more energy and excitement, after reading the Crazy Rich Asian series, Pachinko and If You Leave Me, I think I set my hopes high for this one.
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  • Kathleen Gray
    January 1, 1970
    What a terrific novel! Wang has taken the familiar tale of a family coping with the impending death of a distant parent and fighting about their prospective inheritance and imbued it with life. Yes. Stanley and Linda emigrated to the US from Taiwan and built a life together in Silicon Valley until she, defying convention, divorced him whereupon he remarried Mary, who Linda, retired from a lengthy professional career at IBM, disdains as a village girl. Their children, Fred and Kate, are both stru What a terrific novel! Wang has taken the familiar tale of a family coping with the impending death of a distant parent and fighting about their prospective inheritance and imbued it with life. Yes. Stanley and Linda emigrated to the US from Taiwan and built a life together in Silicon Valley until she, defying convention, divorced him whereupon he remarried Mary, who Linda, retired from a lengthy professional career at IBM, disdains as a village girl. Their children, Fred and Kate, are both struggling with their lives. Fred, a Harvard MBA has discovered not all venture capital jobs are alike and Kate must cope with both a mercurial boss and a husband who is working on his own startup. This mix is much more entertaining than you might imagine. The scene with Linda in Whole Foods staring up at the ceiling made me laugh out loud. It helps to know a bit about finance and to be familiar at least a little with the Taiwan expat community. Each character is wonderfully drawn= including Erika and Camilla. I recognized these people. There's a great twist at the end. Thanks to Edelweiss for the ARC. This is one I'll recommend to others for a good read.
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  • Catherine
    January 1, 1970
    When Stanley Huang is diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer, his family must face their life choices. Told from the points of view of Stanley, his two children Fred and Kate, his ex-wife and mother of his children Linda, and Mary his new wife, this is a story about a family coming to terms with the reality of aging, deathand life in Silicone Valley. Linda, has embarked on a new online dating service that may not be on the up and up. Fred, a graduate of Harvard business school, is struggling When Stanley Huang is diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer, his family must face their life choices. Told from the points of view of Stanley, his two children Fred and Kate, his ex-wife and mother of his children Linda, and Mary his new wife, this is a story about a family coming to terms with the reality of aging, deathand life in Silicone Valley. Linda, has embarked on a new online dating service that may not be on the up and up. Fred, a graduate of Harvard business school, is struggling to find the job he believes he deserves. Kate is a successful working mother of two who faces the ultimate betrayal in her marriage. Mary is struggling to keep Stanley alive while dealing with the relatives who tell her to get his will settled. Everyone is interested in Stanley's money but in the end they find instead the incentives they need to move on and change their lives for the better.
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  • Shahedah
    January 1, 1970
    DNF.The blurb and first page of this book drew me in, masquerading as “A brilliant mashup of The Nest and Crazy Rich Asians... The best kind of family drama.”I couldn’t even make it to page 100 without giving up. It’s not very well written with long convoluted sentences trying to be witty (but instead had me rereading and rereading to make sense of). The five main characters introduced by page 58 are all dull, extremely unrelatable, and generally quite pretentious and horrible (is that the point DNF.The blurb and first page of this book drew me in, masquerading as “A brilliant mashup of The Nest and Crazy Rich Asians... The best kind of family drama.”I couldn’t even make it to page 100 without giving up. It’s not very well written with long convoluted sentences trying to be witty (but instead had me rereading and rereading to make sense of). The five main characters introduced by page 58 are all dull, extremely unrelatable, and generally quite pretentious and horrible (is that the point? Because they’re rich?). I couldn’t face the idea of forcing myself through another 300 pages with these people.This book has none of the charm, warmth and humour of Crazy Rich Asians.Don’t bother.
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  • Mona
    January 1, 1970
    I had the hardest time with this book and really only finished it because it was for my book club. The characters are so hard to like and sympathize with and it’s not till the final couple of chapters that it even got interesting.
  • Devon H
    January 1, 1970
    I hated the characters, hated the plot, but loved this book. Here's why. This novel focuses on four main characters, Stanley and his ex-wife Linda, and their two children, Kate and Denny, coming together around the concept of a family trust. Through their eyes, we see a myriad of side characters, but we are primarily privy to only their hopes and fears. Stanley is dying of pancreatic cancer, and the family is there to support him even when they don't want to. Clearly, there are some ulterior mot I hated the characters, hated the plot, but loved this book. Here's why. This novel focuses on four main characters, Stanley and his ex-wife Linda, and their two children, Kate and Denny, coming together around the concept of a family trust. Through their eyes, we see a myriad of side characters, but we are primarily privy to only their hopes and fears. Stanley is dying of pancreatic cancer, and the family is there to support him even when they don't want to. Clearly, there are some ulterior motives. In the same way that Kevin Kwan's characters in Crazy Rich Asians were obsessed with money and status, Wang's characters are as well. But where there was light-hearted comedy and satire in Kwan's trilogy, there is little happiness or even humor in Wang's novel. "After all, how could you stop an event already fated to happen?"Stanley's exaggerated view of himself and his finances is what propels the story forward. Each of the main characters believes him when he says he has the means to provide happy futures for them. With this partial truth, they each begin to stew in dreams of prospective income and relief from financial stress, while fighting each other for the right to claim it. Meanwhile, Kate is uncovering marital troubles she didn't know she had, Fred is drawn into some ridiculous schemes in the hopes of upward mobility in his career, and Linda finds herself surprisingly searching for new companionship after nearly a decade of divorce from Stanley. These three find themselves in new complicated relationships that they don't totally understand, with people whose motives are not as clear as they should be. With limited information, how can they make choices that will benefit them in the end? If they are so focused on what the relationship does for them, at what point do they cross over into the selfish territory they believe Stanley has occupied for the majority of their lives?This story sparked massive introspection and reflections on the consumerist/capitalist society I live in, but Wang's approach is intricate and subtle. She crafted a compelling story in which I found myself hating all of the characters yet finding myself in each of them. Her timing is perfect in that she reveals over time through lack of communication between characters how little they understand of each others' motives and aspirations. I was captivated by this pessimistic story. I felt as if all the characters were dancing towards inevitable disappointment, and this book is a trainwreck I was excited to witness. Each of their strange approaches to the world felt so perfect for their character. While I often felt myself thinking surely I or anyone I know would not make such choices, Wang allowed space for these choices to be made by characters who are people we have interacted with, or even could be ourselves. The multiple points of view, all in third person and not terribly dissimilar from each other felt perfect for this book, and the fifth perspective for just one chapter was excellently timed. I would definitely recommend this book, if you're a fan of well-executed writing tactics. I received a copy of this book from the publisher via Edelweiss+ in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Amy
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 starsAs I read Kathy Wang's book, I kept thinking of its title: Family Trust.The family in question is the Huangs, although theirs is a closeness borne more of DNA and marriage than actual affection. Stanley has cancer, an illness that almost delights him at first. He's the kind of guy who demands certain coddling, certain attention and unearned respect. Linda, his ex-wife, looks back on her thirty-plus years of marriage to Stanley with no small amount of bitterness, ever so relieved to be f 4.5 starsAs I read Kathy Wang's book, I kept thinking of its title: Family Trust.The family in question is the Huangs, although theirs is a closeness borne more of DNA and marriage than actual affection. Stanley has cancer, an illness that almost delights him at first. He's the kind of guy who demands certain coddling, certain attention and unearned respect. Linda, his ex-wife, looks back on her thirty-plus years of marriage to Stanley with no small amount of bitterness, ever so relieved to be free of him. When she finds out about Stanley's illness, her only thought - and it is a dogged one - is to ensure her children's financial futures as far as her ex-husband's will is concerned. Stanley's current wife, Mary, is twenty-eight years younger than he is and has made Stanley's happiness and contentment the sole focus of her life. What will she do when she doesn't have Stanley to take care of?Then there are the kids, Fred and Kate. He finds himself in the grips of a professional malaise, while her discontentment is in her marriage. Each counts on their shares from Stanley's estate to help soothe, if not outright fix, their problems.Which brings me to trust. Kathy Wang tells us that Stanley considers instituting a trust that will be his legacy, while at the same time Linda harangues him to realize that his children are his legacy. But Kathy Wang also plays with this word. Trust is a problem within every relationship in this book. There are professional mistrusts, sibling mistrusts, parental mistrusts, marital mistrusts, and even mistrusts between friends. The one thing lacking between these people is trust.Kathy Wang presents this family with a wry eye, not quite mocking them so much as revealing their flaws with unfettered glee. Yet at the same time, she draws them in such a way that you hope they find their way to a true family trust. It will mean confronting their weaknesses, which in the case of the Huangs will be a mighty difficult task.As for the book, its only weakness is an underdeveloped character who needed more of Kathy Wang's attention. Part of me wondered if that was intentional, though, because this particular character is almost a ghost. But when Wang has a chapter from this person's perspective, it makes you realize that you need to know the character better than you do.I enjoyed getting to know the Huang family. And I quite enjoyed the way Kathy Wang told their story.
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  • Heather Salonga
    January 1, 1970
    I loved this book. It wasn’t what I was expecting, I thought it would be Crazy Rich Asians in Silicon Valley and it was really funny and the Asians aren't quite as rich. The story is a lot more real and much darker. I am a fourth generation Japanese from Hawaii and lived in Silicon Valley and had many Chinese friends. These stories in Family Trust feel like stories I been told for a certain segment of the Asian population who believe that success will follow from hard work and that the path to a I loved this book. It wasn’t what I was expecting, I thought it would be Crazy Rich Asians in Silicon Valley and it was really funny and the Asians aren't quite as rich. The story is a lot more real and much darker. I am a fourth generation Japanese from Hawaii and lived in Silicon Valley and had many Chinese friends. These stories in Family Trust feel like stories I been told for a certain segment of the Asian population who believe that success will follow from hard work and that the path to a child's success is achieved by relentlessly pushing them not just academically but also socially and professionally. (Anything less would be failing your children.) What is not at first obvious, but reminds of Franzen's, The Corrections, is that despite all the horrible things said and done, that the parents love their children and the children love their parents and the author paints each character with a lot of sympathy and humor.
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  • R
    January 1, 1970
    Family Trust pulled me in from beginning to end, with a story that blends the humor and sadness of family dynamics against the backdrop of the Silicon Valley. Each chapter features one family member’s perspective and you collect small insights that come together as the story unravels. You learn about the central character, Stanley, mainly through his family’s lens. My favorite parts were the interactions between Linda, Stanley’s ex-wife, and her daughter, Kate. This is definitely a book that I w Family Trust pulled me in from beginning to end, with a story that blends the humor and sadness of family dynamics against the backdrop of the Silicon Valley. Each chapter features one family member’s perspective and you collect small insights that come together as the story unravels. You learn about the central character, Stanley, mainly through his family’s lens. My favorite parts were the interactions between Linda, Stanley’s ex-wife, and her daughter, Kate. This is definitely a book that I want to read a second time, as there are some brief but memorable moments throughout, ranging from a hilarious take on a visit to an Hermes store to very real aspects of a person experiencing a sharp health decline.
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  • Susan Shue
    January 1, 1970
    I enjoyed this book. It reminded me of "The Nest" by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney, with an Asian twist. The dysfunctional family all waiting for money that someone else earned instead of taking care of themselves. At the end of the book I was left wanting more of the story.
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  • Barbara
    January 1, 1970
    “Family Trust” is the debut novel by Kathy Wang that tells the lives of a Chinese-American family living in the Silicon Valley. The story opens with Stanley Huang, the patriarch of the family near death. He has always told his two children that his estate is valued in the Millions of dollars, without providing details. Stanley is on his second marriage to Mary, who is not the children’s mother. Both children dream about what that fortune could provide for their current status.Meanwhile, Linda, t “Family Trust” is the debut novel by Kathy Wang that tells the lives of a Chinese-American family living in the Silicon Valley. The story opens with Stanley Huang, the patriarch of the family near death. He has always told his two children that his estate is valued in the Millions of dollars, without providing details. Stanley is on his second marriage to Mary, who is not the children’s mother. Both children dream about what that fortune could provide for their current status.Meanwhile, Linda, the first wife and mother of the children, highly doubts he has a large estate. Nonetheless, she wants her children to see the Will, to learn the details of his estate. This is the backbone of the story. What adds the meat and fun is when author Wang tells the back-story of the family. She educates the reader of the Chinese-American culture, where parents push their children in the name of love. The children are expected to go only Ivy League schools, attain high paying jobs with respectable titles. The pressure of the Chinese-American family is felt with Wang’s beautiful writing. What is astounding is that she writes her characters as not always likeable; yet, the reader feels their stress and wants the best for them.Whenever any patriarch dies, there is family drama. This story is one of all families concerned with their inheritance and getting their fair share. Getting a glimpse of the Chinese-American culture made the read truly enjoyable.
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  • Eugenie
    January 1, 1970
    I enjoyed the way this book slowly revealed each of the characters in this story of a family who's patriarch is dying. The ex-wife, Linda, is the strong matriarch whose adult children don't seem to appreciate her capabilities. The female characters in the book are ultimately the strong ones who come out ahead in life after putting up with socially accepted customs for a good part of their lives that make them not quite happy. The matriarch and her daughter understand and accept each other by the I enjoyed the way this book slowly revealed each of the characters in this story of a family who's patriarch is dying. The ex-wife, Linda, is the strong matriarch whose adult children don't seem to appreciate her capabilities. The female characters in the book are ultimately the strong ones who come out ahead in life after putting up with socially accepted customs for a good part of their lives that make them not quite happy. The matriarch and her daughter understand and accept each other by the end of the book.
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