Happy Thursday￼ all!
It is the second day of 2020 and the perfect day to share my review for one of my favorite books of 2019!🧸
Such a fab book! Kiley Reid’s debut was extremely readable, tremendously thought-provoking, and very hard to review. On the surface this was an engaging story about Emira, A 25-year-old African-American woman finding herself and her voice. But there really was so much more to it, it really was a story about privilege, race, and economic status. The story starts with Emira being accused of kidnapping when she is at the grocery store late at night with A little white girl. The truth of it was she was babysitting and doing a favor for the couple she works for and taking the little girl out of the house, because things were happening at home. I grew up in a biracial family so I do know what it’s like for people to assume things. Many times people did not believe my African-American brother was my brother, but if he were ever out with my white children and somebody accused him of kidnapping them, I would probably lose it. There was much more to the story there was Alix Emira’s boss. Alix lived a privileged life and had an obsessive need to bond with Emira. I have to say I found this really strange, disconcerting, and borderline stalkerish. Then there was love interest Kelly who ironically also had a past Thai to Alix. Still really don’t know what to think of him? There were many other characters in the story most of them having very strong opinions as to what Emira should do with her life. Then there was three-year-old Brier the little girl she babysat. Brier was so adorable, precocious, and loving. I love the relationship between Brier and Emira they were just so completely loving and accepting of one another. I have to say I found Emira a much more sympathetic character. The poor girl had so many people trying to tell her what she should be doing, even though she was perfectly fine with being a nanny. I just loved this book so much it was so brilliant in its subtlety so beautiful in its nuance.
🎧🎧🎧 The audiobook was narrated by Nicole Lewis. She really brought the perfect voice to this exceptional story.
This book in emojis. 🧸 🖌 🖍 🥂
*** Big thanks to Putnam Books, Libro fm, and Penguin Audio for my gifted copy of this book ***
About the Book
A REESE WITHERSPOON x HELLO SUNSHINE BOOK CLUB PICK
“Our January pick is Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid. You’ll follow a young women’s journey of self-discovery after she’s wrongfully accused of kidnapping a child. This story is a beautiful conversation starter about race, privilege, work dynamics…. I can’t wait to hear your thoughts!” (Reese Witherspoon)
A striking and surprising debut novel from an exhilarating new voice, Such a Fun Age is a compelling 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.
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 25, 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”, and the complicated reality of being a grown up. It is a searing debut for our times.