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Family Trust: Book summary and reviews of Family Trust by Kathy Wang

Family Trust

by Kathy Wang

Family Trust by Kathy Wang X
Family Trust by Kathy Wang
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  • Published in USA  Oct 2018
    400 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

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.

Some of us are more equal than others....

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.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Astute…[Wang] brings levity and candor to the tricky terrain of family dynamics, aging, and excess [and] expertly considers the values of high-tech high society." - Publishers Weekly

"Starred Review. Readers who enjoy complicated novels about family issues will find this engrossing work impossible to put down." - Library Journal

"While Wang tosses out more plot threads than she finally reels in, and the connections among the stories of the five characters aren't always as apparent as they might be, she explores Silicon Valley subculture with wit and ultimately reveals a deep understanding of her feckless strivers." - Booklist

"Wang speaks with authority, insight, and irony about the ethnic and socio-economic realities at business school, in Silicon Valley, in mixed-race relationships and marriages. A strong debut." - Kirkus

"Family Trust reads like a brilliant mashup of The Nest and Crazy Rich Asians (with a soupçon of Arrested Development for good measure). It's dark and funny and entertaining and thoughtful all at once. The best kind of family drama. I loved every page." - Cristina Alger, author of The Banker's Wife

"Appealing, warm and witty...Family Trust is the perfect title, though Crazy Rich Asians (alas, already taken) would describe this deliciously entertaining novel just as well." - AARP Magazine

"Funny and compelling." - Southern Living

"A globe-trotting, whirlwind, tragi-comic family saga that wrings tears from absurdity and laughter from loss. A joy to read from start to finish." - Andrew Sean Greer, author of Less, winner of the 2018 Pulitzer Prize

"A wicked and witty send up of Asian-American Silicon Valley elite, a delightful debut that Jane Austen would have approved of." - Micah Perks, author of What Becomes Us

"Family Trust offers an exquisite rendering of the way relationships evolve and are nurtured over a lifetime, and of the circumstances that either draw individuals closer or drive them apart." - Meghan Maclain Weir, author of The Book of Essie

"A sharp, spirited and wholly original take on the American Dream." - Jillian Medoff, bestselling author of This Could Hurt

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Author Information

Kathy Wang

Kathy Wang grew up in Northern California and holds degrees from UC Berkeley and Harvard Business School. She lives in the Bay Area with her husband and two children.

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