Such a fun age is the book on everyone’s lips right now and for good reason.
This blinding debut novel stormed in at the beginning of 2020 and got to work picking apart the inherent racism in western culture in both a charming and challenging way. It doesn’t feel like there could be a book that we need more right now in this sphere.
We’re sure that everyone you know is reading it and posting to social media (guilty as charged). It was even chosen by Reese Witherspoon as a bookclub pick and has already been acquired by Emmy winner Lena Waithe for a TV adaption. Not bad going for a debut!
We were thrilled that it lived up to the hype and then some.
Such a fun age Book Review
The story focuses on the character of Emira, babysitter to three-year-old Briar who is stopped at the beginning of the novel by a supermarket security guard who, along with a fellow shopper, accuses her of kidnapping the child. This accusation is based on nothing more than the fact that Emira is black and Briar is white. We follow Emira as she processes what happened that night and in reading, we begin to understand the daily prejudices and microaggressions that she faces. From strangers in a supermarket to her boss, and even her own boyfriend.
Kiley Reid successfully demonstrates what life is like for a young, black woman in America today and she takes a deep-dive into the complex and distressing race relations that still continue. The cleverness of this story is that it doesn’t just focus on the stereotypical idea of a racist but instead uncovers liberal prejudice and the smaller (though arguably no less trying) slights suffered on a daily basis.
As well as race, Such a Fun Age also explores money and class – shown through the difficulty that Emira has in securing a job that both satisfies and fairly compensates her. It explores the issues around health insurance once you’re no longer covered by your family after age 25 and the stress that can put on young people who are already trying to map out their careers. Through other characters, we look at the toll taken when partners put their relationships before their careers or when new mums can feel a sense of ambivalence towards their children.
Whilst Reid covers some heavy and important topics through this book, she does it with wit and style. Her dialogue is fast and funny. The pitter patter of conversations fly back and forth through the story and keep you entertained throughout. It is one of those books that makes you think, makes you laugh and better yet, makes you feel.
We’ve given this book 9 stars out of 10. We were totally enthralled from the first page, waiting to see where Emira’s life would go next and reading with bated breath as fun twists unfolded throughout.
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