Monday, June 29, 2020

Review: Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid

Title: Such a Fun Age
Author: Kiley Reid
Published: December 2019, G.P. Putnam's Sons
Format: ARC Paperback, 307 pages
Source: Publisher

Alix Chamberlain is a woman who gets what she wants and has made a living, with her confidence-driven brand, showing other women how to do the same. So she is shocked when her babysitter, Emira Tucker, is confronted while watching the Chamberlains' toddler one night, walking the aisles of their local high-end supermarket. The store's security guard, seeing a young black woman out late with a white child, accuses Emira of kidnapping two-year-old Briar. A small crowd gathers, a bystander films everything, and Emira is furious and humiliated. Alix resolves to make things right.

But Emira herself is aimless, broke, and wary of Alix's desire to help. At twenty-five, she is about to lose her health insurance and has no idea what to do with her life. When the video of Emira unearths someone from Alix's past, both women find themselves on a crash course that will upend everything they think they know about themselves, and each other.

With empathy and piercing social commentary, Such a Fun Age explores the stickiness of transactional relationships, what it means to make someone "family," the complicated reality of being a grown up, and the consequences of doing the right thing for the wrong reason.

A striking and surprising debut novel from an exhilarating new voice, Such a Fun Age is a page-turning and big-hearted story about race and privilege, set around a young black babysitter, her well-intentioned employer, and a surprising connection that threatens to undo them both.

My thoughts: I was fortunate to pick this book up last year at BookExpo, but for some reason never got around to reading it. Well, I finally did and now I'm kicking myself for not getting to it sooner...this book is highly readable and very thought-provoking. It's definitely a book that absolutely lived up to all the hype that it got.

As soon as I started this book, I was completely hooked. The story grabs you right away and really keeps you engaged throughout. You may not love the characters but you will be unable to walk away from them until you see this book through to the resolution. I loved that not only does it deal with race, but also with class and how the two intersect. 

While the book is quite intense, there are many light-hearted moments to keep it from getting too bogged down and I appreciated that. It's a very relatable book in many instances and I loved the relationship that Emira develops with Briar during her time babysitting...this I could totally relate to as I babysat for many years myself and often got attached to the children I watched. 

This book will take you through a range of emotions. It is both an entertaining read and one that will make you uncomfortable at times. But that is why is such an important read, especially in light of what is going on the world today. This would absolutely make a fantastic book club pick - there is so much to discuss.

It's hard to believe this is a debut novel because this writing is fantastic. I know without a doubt that I will be on the lookout for whatever comes next from the talented author.


1 comment

  1. Wow, I can tell how much you enjoyed reading this book! It sounds so absorbing.

    You truly are "Always With a Book"!


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