First Look: Family Trust by Kathy Wang

Although it’s been a pretty rough year for me, a lot of good stuff has happened too, especially in my reading life. After already enjoying tons of wonderful books (which I’ll talk about in a future post), I received a copy of Kathy Wang’s first novel, Family Trust, through HarperCollins Canada’s First Look program.

Family Trust appealed to me on many different levels.

A peek into a different world

I always enjoy reading about people from different cultures than my own. In this case I got to meet an interesting Chinese American family who happened to be on the wealthy side.

Well-executed multiple points of view

The chapters are narrated by Stanley, the family patriarch, his wife, his two adult children, and their mother (his ex-wife). This type of novel is sometimes confusing, but Wang pulled it off without a hitch.

We get a glimpse into each character’s life, and their individual stories are even more interesting than the main thread which ties them all together.

Universalness of the story

Although the novel takes place in a world very different than my own, the parallels with my life were uncanny. Without giving away too much of the plot, when Stanley is diagnosed with cancer, his children take time away from their careers and personal situations to spend time with him and help ensure that his needs are met. Naturally, that brought back a lot of memories of what my family went through during my dad’s illness earlier this year.

Humorous approach

Given the subject, this could easily have been a drama, but it’s not; it’s actually quite funny – even the parts that took me back to some difficult days. It probably won’t have you rolling on the floor laughing, but it’s highly entertaining.

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