by Amanda Brown

July 2003
ISBN: 0-525-94730-2
Reviewer Graphic Button Dutton

Family Trust, is an action packed read! Itís not the romance novel that Iím used to, but I thought it was terrific. Can you imagine the world of wall street with a workaholic, Jewish, beautiful brunette, Becca Reinhart who crosses the planet in business the way you and I cross the street, being left with a four year old? Talk about your life coming to a complete stop. But she pirouettes nicely and turns all that pent up energy from corporate mergers and acquisitions to the French lessons and nursery schools that will make a direct path to Harvard! But Becca is not the only custodian of four year old Emily. The father of the child willed custody of his daugher to his best buddy, a man with the total 9-5 job of doing a lot of nothing, the ultimate WASP preppie, Edward Kirkland.

The first thing Becca does with the child is take her with her to Hong Kong, because she has no other choice! She returns with child in tow and several new kimonos, and meets her co-foster parent, Eddie. These two foster parents are like night and day. She has a secretary to schedule her appointments and meetings, including eating and exercise in ten minute intervals and sheís booked three weeks in advance. He has a secretary that is more like a nanny as he strolls from one social engagement to other, needing advice on what woman to bring to which affair. This is an unusual romance, because although both are aware of each other, and admire from afar, they are star crossed because both travel in distinctly different circles. His is the most irritating, since his mother is still controlling what is best for him, even choosing whom he shall marry and when. Beccaís mother, in turn, is a riot, helping her manage her life, making sure, among other things that her daughter never goes hungry.

When Becca finds out about Eddieís engagement, she fears sheíll lose Emily, whom has become her total universe. Itís at this point that the story gets even funnier, as Becca tries to enter the New York City marrying scene to find a husband so she can still have custody of Emily. She goes to auditoriums filled with men that she can interviews in seven minutes to see if she can find a husband and beat Eddie to the altar. In the meantime, Eddie takes stock of his life, and has to choose between the comfortable life heís been living, or the whirl-wind life he could have with Becca.

This book at times was too tedious with detail. I found I did skip parts. I confess, it was more detail than I needed, and I selfishly wanted to read about more encounters with Eddie and Becca, and I felt their were not enough.

This book reminded me of a cross between Love Story and Bonfire of the Vanities, a book I liked, couldnít put down, but exhausted me in the process. I donít recommend this as bedtime reading, because youíll wake yourself up trying to keep up with the witty dialogue and details. But, I believe Ms. Brown has another winner in this novel. It will make you laugh and be glad you donít live in New York City with a toddler, and if you do, you might use this as a guidebook for raising the perfect child in NYC.

Reviewed in July 2003 by Suemarie.

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