What happens when you do the right thing for the wrong reason?
Alix 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 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.
This read couldn’t have come at a better time. I had been in a bit of a reading slump through November and December and was taking ages to get through some books but I flew through this one and really helped me to get back into my usual reading.
Such A Fun Age is a fantastic debut from Kiley Reid. The writing isn’t overly complicated but it still paints the picture of the world depicted and we get to know the characters extremely well. I loved Emira’s relationship with Briar and could so clearly picture them in real life. I liked what Alix stood for but just felt she was a little overbearing and childish at times.
The book addresses a lot of very important issues; racism, love, family, friendship and more. From the description I thought it would focus mainly on the racism aspect but there is so much more to the story. One thing I found that really came through was the theme around planning and determining your future. Emira is in her mid twenties and is unsure of where she sees herself in 5 years time. Her friends are in secure jobs with essential benefits and she is ‘just’ a babysitter. I think we can all relate to times when we compare ourselves to our friends and other around us and wonder what our next steps should be. There is this constant pressure to live up to certain expectations and follow the status quo and it puts many people under unnecessary pressure.
It’s a hugely enjoyable read that you will fly through. I knocked it down to a 9 purely because the ending was extremely abrupt. It felt like there were a few pages missing but apart from that I loved it and can’t wait to see what Reid comes out with next.
IN 3 WORDS/PHRASES:
“I think that women are often just asking for a seat at the table,” Alix said. The microphone attached at her collar bounced her voice to the back of the house. “But what’s heard is ‘I want special treatment,’ when that’s not the case.”
Briar, she seemed so cute and wise for her age.