Family Trust
Family Trust

Family Trust

by Kathy Wang

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Overview

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.

 

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062855251
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 10/30/2018
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 156,836
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

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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Family Trust 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The characters are intriguing and funny, yet all supremely irritating. Nothing really happens in terms of plot.
AndieJC More than 1 year ago
I didn't want this book to end! Every now and then you pick up a book that immediately pulls you into the lives of the characters, where you’re so invested that their pain is your pain. Where you are so engrossed that you miss your train stop. And when you read the last sentence, you immediately want to start the book over to catch the subtle nuances that you might have missed as you raced through the pages to see what happens next. I loved every minute of Family Trust. This is a smart, witty and deeply truthful look into the lives of a Chinese-American family, faced with the impending death of the family’s patriarch. The author weaves engaging storylines, while subtly peeling back the layers of the abstruse ecosystem of being Asian in America and offers up some very candid insights into the ins and outs of Silicon Valley. Crazy Rich Asians meets its more somber and erudite cousin. A brilliant, funny and thought-provoking read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you enjoyed Crazy Rich Asians this is equal with a S.F Bay Area twist!
bookchickdi More than 1 year ago
Kathy Wang's fantastic novel Family Trust opens with Silicon Valley resident Stanley Huang being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Divorced from his first wife Linda, married to his second, decades-younger wife Mary, father to two grown children, Fred and Kate, suddenly Stanley's life is turned upside down. Each chapter is narrated by one of the main characters- Linda, Fred, and Kate take the lead, with Stanley and Mary each taking on a smaller role. Linda has been divorced for many years, and has decided to take the advice of her friends and try online dating with Tigerlily, a dating service geared towards Asians. She connects with Winston online and he seems to be the opposite of Stanley. Winston appears to be an open, caring, outgoing man. Stanley was prone to violent outbursts, sometimes frightening his children. Linda was the financial wizard in the family, and although Stanley liked to portray himself as worth millions, Linda had her doubts. She kept pushing Fred and Kate to talk to Stanley and get information about his will. Whenever the topic was brought up, Stanley was very vague about details. Fred worked in finance, but he felt stuck in his role at Lion Capital. When an old college friend dangles a huge opportunity in front of him, Fred finally feels that his luck may be changing. Kate is married to Denny, and a mom to two young children. She works for X Corp, a huge Silicon Valley company, where she has been for several years and is a valued employee. Denny is trying to get a startup going, with little success (or ambition) so far. Fred and Kate both could use the money from their father's will to make their lives easier. Linda fears that Stanley will leave most of his money to his new wife, leaving their children out in the cold. I found Linda's story to be the most intriguing. She is a smart, tough, hardworking, clear-eyed woman. Her interactions with her circle of female friends and her sharp-tongued observations made me laugh. Mary had one chapter to tell her story and I found it surprising. Up to this point, we only saw her through the eyes of the others, it was a revelation to see her innermost thoughts. Family Trust is a remarkable novel. Each character's story draws the reader in, and each person''s story could stand on their own in their own novel. The ingenious way that Wang weaves their stories together is a marvel. It is a novel about a family who came to here to find the American dream. Both Stanley and Linda worked hard to make a good life for their children, pushed them to go to good schools and be successful. It has been compared to The Nest and Crazy Rich Asians, both of which I read and enjoyed, but Family Trust is the best of the three. Wang successfully combines humor and pathos in a deeply rich novel.
Honolulubelle More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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. This is a story about one family's pursuit of the American dream. Each person comes to realize that despite doing all the things they thought were supposed to do, the security of the happy marriage or prestigious career is not something they can hold on to and they pin their hopes on the patriarch's trust to save them.
Katie__B More than 1 year ago
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