Family Trust by Kathy Wang [in Booklist]
Septuagenarian Stanley Huang declares he’ll start a foundation to give his name the longevity his body can’t. His second wife Mary has made his comfort her top priority. His first wife Linda Liang left him financially sound, obscuring his inadequacies in exchange for her freedom.
Harvard Business Schooled-son Fred’s under-appreciated financial-rainmaker delusions are about to be exposed by his less-than-impressed Hungarian girlfriend. Stanley’s daughter, tech should-be-VP Kate’s been the solid caretaker of home, hearth, (worthless) husband, and is overdue for a windfall. Now that Stanley’s pancreatic cancer has sealed the future, the family trust – we’re talking money and integrity, ahem – is about to get real.
Actor Joy Osmanski (Korean-born transracial adoptee) shifts between Stanley’s unsubstantiated pronouncements, Linda’s steely control, Fred’s truculent self-absorption, and Kate’s harried adequacy with ease, giving the Huang/Liang quartet distinct – albeit predictable – personalities. Venturing into other accents, however, proves clumsy: Griffin, for example, who has a Geordie accent, comes off with something akin to a dreadful Australian clip. Small missteps aside, Wang’s Silicon Valley shakedown should attract plenty of Schadenfreude-seeking audiences.