Such a Fun Age

Hardcover

Published Aug. 8, 2019 by Putnam.

ISBN:
9780525541905

View on OpenLibrary

4 stars (14 reviews)

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.

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 …

5 editions

Review of 'Such a Fun Age' on 'Goodreads'

2 stars

Dieses Buch hat mich ein wenig irritiert - Rassismus in all seinen Ausprägungen scheint dieses Jahr extrem viel Platz auf meinen Leselisten einzunehmen. Insofern fand ich es interessant, hier zwei weiße Protagonisten zu sehen, die völlig überzeugt sind, nicht rassistisch zu sein, allerdings auf eine verquere Art genau das sind - und dabei den Splitter im Auge des Gegenübers sehen, nicht aber den Balken im eigenen Auge.

Allerdings wirken alle Figuren auf mich künstlich, einschließlich der Protagonistin und ihren Freunden, das kleine Mädchen, dass sie betreut, wirkt auf mich absolut unglaubwürdig für eine Dreijährige (und ich habe wirklich merkwürdige Dreijährige kennengelernt).

Insofern - spannender Ansatz, aber in der Ausführung für mich leider nicht wirklich gelungen.

Review of 'Such a Fun Age' on 'GoodReads'

4 stars

Everybody's the hero of their own story.



## Why I picked it up ##



Mel told me she liked it, and wanted to talk to me about it



## What I liked about it ##



Nuance of character. Alix maintained a little bit of likability and sympathy right up to the very end.



Briar was cute as hell. I usually don't like the precocious kid trope but I guess it worked well here because she wasn't especially precocious. She was just a normal 3 year old.



## One thing I want to remember ##



The feeling of great sadness at the end when Emira spelled out why everybody in this book was miserable: "And some days, Emira would carry the dread that if Briar ever struggled to find herself, she'd probably just hire someone to do it for her."



Kelly relied on black people and black culture to define himself. …

Review of 'Such a Fun Age' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

This stands atop the literary fiction I've read in 2020 as a refreshingly direct and compelling read with a lot of important themes for the 21st century literary fiction readers' customer base to digest. It feels to me like Kiley Reid wrote the Thanksgiving Dinner sequence as a short story initially - it's the only event in the book that gets multiple chapters devoted to it and the immediate fallout. As a result, there's definitely some racing-to-the-finish writing in the final part of the book, with a climax that feels theatrical at the expense of a really dialogue-rich confrontation. But overall, the writing for the protagonist, Emira, was excellent and the satirical jabs of Alix Chamberlain's privileged social circles was very satisfying.

Review of 'Such a Fun Age' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

I've found it difficult to describe this book. It reads with the ease of chick lit. It addresses big issues (racism, privilege, white savior complex, bias) without feeling heavy. The dialogue between Emira's friends feels effortless and real. My dings against this book: Alix is utterly unlikable. Even villains usually have something redeeming, but with Alix? Nope. And the ending was both a bit much and not enough. It felt like a departure from the rest of the book and didn't deliver the satisfaction I was hoping for.

Review of 'Such a Fun Age' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

I appreciate why so many people I know disliked this book. If it had come across more in the vein of light-hearted satire, rather than the SNL Weekend Update character of the woman you wish you hadn’t started a conversation with at a party yelling at the reader to “THINK ABOUT IT,” I do not think it would seem so condescending. But, alas. I’ll say that it does make two points well: (1) Everyone’s backstories, about which we may know nothing, color their current viewpoints and behavior in ways we (and they) may not understand, and (2) the American “gig economy” has come to expect an unreasonable level of emotional investment from workers, despite denying them basic job security, a living wage, or health insurance.

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