Come for the Family Drama, Stay for the Writing | Blog Tour + Review: Family Trust by Kathy Wang

6:30 AM

I was expecting something of a mashup between the complex, rich, familial relationships featured in Gossip Girl and Crazy Rich Asians, plus a little of Arrested Development sprinkled in. The blurb, too, features a similar sentiment. Make no mistake: this is definitely its own story.

About Family Trust by Kathy Wang
• Paperback: 416 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reprint edition (October 29, 2019)
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.

Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Family Trust by Kathy Wang
Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3.5) 
As always, a copy of this book was provided by the publisher or author in exchange for my honest review. This does not effect my opinion in any way. 

This is my kind of read. The very sort of novel that captures my attention nearly instantly. Give me all the complexities of family life. Show me the kind of characters that aren't easy to root for; the ones that drive you a little mad but still, somehow, against all odds, remain easy to appreciate and want the "best" for.  

Family Trust is intelligent and well written, dramatic and serious, with a hint of something stylish. It is a perfect contradiction, like life itself, and proves to be a thoroughly entertaining read. I agree with the sentiment and comparison to Arrested Development--if you loved the characters in this show based on their unlikable qualities, you'll definitely feel a similar series of emotions towards the characters in Family Trust.

This isn't the type of novel that will give you the warm and fuzzies, per se, but it will entertain you. It is a family drama at its core that will have you scoffing and rolling your eyes one minute, laughing at the absurdity of certain plots, and more. It's full of snark and humor, a glimpse at materialism, a life as it was lived, grief and a lot more.

I'm not even sure where to begin with Family Trust, without spoiling too much of the central plots. In terms of plotlines, this certainly focuses on the intense--and often insufferably unfortunate--dynamics of one family. A lot of Family Trust felt not unlike a delectable soap opera in terms of its tropes and how they are used to further the story in nearly-ridiculous manners. It begins like so many dramatic tales do--the impending death of one of their own.

Kathy Wang decorates her story with an equal amount of sarcasm and honesty, which can be amusing and frustrating all at once; we see the family as they're in the process of learning one of their own has very little time to live and are left wondering what it means for them. I really enjoyed it!

If you've read, and loved, novels like Gossip Girl and Crazy Rich Asians, it is safe to say this is your next great love. It has the elements of satire, but often faces a more serious tone and polished prose. I don't think it will be for everyone due to the unlikable nature of some of the characters as well as the way it incorporates a bit more of the business aspect of things. Ultimately, though, so much of Family Trust is worthy of a read--and a definite option to curl up with this winter.

About Kathy Wang

Photo by Nina Subin
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.
Visit Kathy’s website and connect with her on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Tuesday, October 29th: A Pint-Sized Life
Wednesday, October 30th: Instagram: @owlslittlelibrary
Thursday, October 31st: Instagram: @book.hang.o.ver
Friday, November 1st: Comfy Reading
Monday, November 4th: bookish bliss and beauty
Tuesday, November 5th: Booked J
Wednesday, November 6th: Instagram: @lavieestbooks
Friday, November 8th: Literary Quicksand
Tuesday, November 12th: Instagram: @sixminutesforme
Wednesday, November 13th: Iwriteinbooks’s blog
Thursday, November 14th: Audio Killed the Bookmark

Find me on Instagram and/or Twitter.

You Might Also Like