[Reading] ➷ Such a Fun Age By Kiley Reid – Loufanet.info
At a first glance Such a Fun Age might appear like a light read, but once you read the synopsis, you will realise that s not the case Such a Fun Age is a story about Alix, a privileged, white, mother of two and Emira, 25 year old black nanny with a bachelor degree Alix is desperate to befriend Emira and invites her and her new boyfriend Kelley to a Thanksgiving family dinner When Emira shows up at the door with Alix s high school ex who broke her heart, everything starts to go pear shaped and Emira starts seeing both Alix and Kelley in a new light.Such a Fun Age is about pretence, relationships but first of all it is about race Both Alix and Kelley have racial issues they can t see themselves This book is very easy to read due to the straightforward writing and realistic dialogue but it was not straightforward for me to figure out who s side I should be on I think this is an exceptional debut novel and I m keen to read books from this author Many thanks to Bloomsbury Publishing for my copy in exchange for an honest review. 4.5 starsAs soon as I read the synopsis, I knew it was my kind of book I m so happy that I won an ARC in a giveaway thank you to Putnam Books.The book starts with an incident where Emira, a twenty something black babysitter, is accused of kidnapping the young white toddler she babysits Then we get to see the aftermath of this event, and how it changes the relationship between Emira and her boss, Alix Chamberlain.First of all, I really enjoyed this book I found the tone and writing style very compelling and easy to digest There s so much to unpack in this novel, as the author provides a social commentary on race and class I really admired the way that Reid tackled some heavy topics with nuance, while keeping a relatively light tone Alix is horrified by what happens to Emira and wants to make things right She s well meaning and consults her friends, including her close black friend, Tamra, about the situation and for advice on how to befriend Emira Alix is convinced that everything she does is in Emira s best interest.Meanwhile, Emira is young, broke, and a bit aimless I found that very relatable as I think a lot of us have been in Emira s position and some point or another She s still trying to figure out who she is and what she wants to do with her life There are two main white people in Emira s life, and for a while, you re trying to figure who really has Emira s best interests in mind and who s just using her There s also a discussion about the people that we invite into our personal lives Can the transactional nature of Emira s and Alix s relationship babysitter and boss be overshadowed by something deeper and personal I thought these characters were well developed With Alix in particular, I feel like we all know people IRL with similar traits I really liked Emira and enjoyed getting to hear her story There are contradictions within these characters, which the author uses to demonstrate that not everything is black and white I did think that the middle of the book was a bit meandering, but it starts off really strong and the plot really picks up in the last third of the book as everything comes to a head Also, it struck me as odd that Emira, as a twenty something in the year 2015 2016, does not have any social media accounts I found that a bit hard to believe.I have so much to say about this book, but I m going to leave it here to avoid getting into spoilers As I mentioned, there s a lot to unpack in this novel and I wish I could have done it as a buddy read so that I d have someone to discuss it with if you ve read it, come talk to me This book is out in December and I d definitely recommend it It felt very accessible and I think this is a book that people could read that would make them examine their own privilege a bit I really enjoyed this one A proper review to come. In an era of so many white savior narratives, it s so refreshing to see a story written by a black woman that directly challenges and upends that problematic narrative trope.Alix Chamberlain is the textbook well meaning rich white woman She has black friends She s read everything Toni Morrison wrote She s trying to land a gig with Hillary Clinton s campaign.Emira Tucker is the 25 year old black woman who babysits Alix s two young daughters She s aimlessly trying to figure out her life preferably before she turns 26 and loses her parents health insurance.One night when Emira is at a grocery store with Alix s daughter, she s confronted by a security guard who accuses her of kidnapping the young girl A white man named Kelley films the incident, and he and Emira begin dating.Horrified that this happened to Emira, Alix resolves to make things right, but as it turns out, Kelley is someone from Alix s past, and things start to get messy.While the central conflict of the narrative rests on a premise that is perhaps unrealistically coincidental, the fact remains that this book is compulsively readable The characters are so well developed and the dialogue so authentic, with tons of little details and observations.Emira becomes the reluctant target of both Alix and Kelley s well intentioned but problematic white saviorism, as they both try to do what they believe is best for her, pushing her life in what they perceive to be the right direction But Emira doesn t need to be saved especially not by these two.Laced with important commentary about race and privilege, this is ultimately a story about owning one s own life Emira may be the aimless one, but she s true to herself something that, we come to find, isn t the case for Alix, despite how much she seems to have it all together.I really enjoyed this and never wanted to put it down while I was reading it I have no doubt that it ll get a ton of buzz when it comes out Thanks to NetGalley for a free advanced copy in exchange for an honest review So goddamn smart and nuanced and empathetic and also FUN The dialogue is phenomenal, the characters are 100% real people that I now know The author has so much empathy for all of them without letting any of them off the hook An absolute pleasure to read while giving me so much to think about. love love love love love love love love love love love love Thanks to Bloomsbury Publishing for providing me with an arc. I really liked this The dialogue, in particular, is so well done the 3 year old is just perfect and the criticisms of whiteness feel really sharp these dumb white people who are so wrapped up in worrying about race that they can t see Emira for a unique person The economics realities of being a childcare worker are pretty accurate too, although I got super mad that she was working for them 20 hours a week on a regular schedule and they were still calling her a babysitter and not a nanny I do think Emira herself is just a little too good I think the book tries to paint her lack of ambition as a flaw but doesn t really believe it, so doesn t convey that to the reader, either Still, lots to talk about, a great pick for book groups fans of Celeste Ng s Would not be at ALL surprised if Reese Witherspoon picks this for her book group. Immediately immersive Emira loves babysitting Briar, but feels at 25 her life should be developed, like her friends are Alix, Briar s mom, adores Emira a bit too much, while spending her time justifying why her life is as amazing as it used to be they re both flawed yet relatable characters The story tackles race, how we identify with each other and ourselves I loved the story s approachable, chaotic, and honestly fun voice just what i was looking for Galley borrowed from the publisher. 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 BothAlix Chamberlain Is A Woman Who Gets What She Wants And Has Made A Living Showing Other Women How To Do The Same A Mother To Two Small Girls, She Started Out As A Blogger And Has Quickly Built Herself Into A Confidence Driven Brand So She Is Shocked When Her Babysitter, Emira Tucker, Is Confronted While Watching The Chamberlains Toddler One Night Seeing A Young Black Woman Out Late With A White Child, A Security Guard At Their Local High End Supermarket 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 It RightBut 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 OtherWith 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 3.5 rounded upThis book has been seriously hyped, and going in I was unsure of what to expect beyond an examination of the relationship between a young black woman and her affluent white employer Fortunately Such a Fun Age is so much than that.Kiley Reid s novel kicks off with Emira, a 25 year old black woman who works part time as a babysitter for Alix Chamberlain s daughter Briar embarking on a late night visit to a supermarket Emira is involved in an altercation with a security guard who believes she has kidnapped Briar While Emira is a little shaken by the incident and looking to shrug it off Alix is outraged and wants to put things right The incident is captured on video by a young white man who soon becomes a key part of the narrative too.Emira is like many young women these days muddling through her mid 20s without a whole lot of direction, feeling like her friends are all successful and in a better place in life than she is She is soon to turn 26 and therefore will no longer be covered by her parents health insurance, so is desperately looking for a job with this benefit side note I had no idea how much of a serious issue this was in America This search proves unsuccessful, and due to the nature of Alix s job as an inspirational speaker she needs Emira to work hours, but she also wants to be Emira s friend and help her better herself This is where things become problematic but thought provoking Alix is a typical white saviour You know the kind she has black friends so how can she be racist, right This differs from other books of this ilk, however, as we have a highly developed African American protagonist who we view Alix s actions through, and the consequences of these actions and how this causes Emira to reassess her job.This topic, along with the issues brought up around it such as the transactional relationship of a nanny for a stimulating topic to base a novel around I would just add that despite the complex themes this is SO readable and I found it hard to put down Recommended Thank you Netgalley and Bloomsbury Publishing for the advance copy, which was provided in exchange for an honest review.