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Such a Fun Age (2019)

by Kiley Reid

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
1,2079911,812 (3.84)1 / 88
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 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. With 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.… (more)
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Showing 1-5 of 93 (next | show all)
This is not a bad book but it's not my speed. Also I hated Alix with a passion. ( )
  g33kgrrl | Jan 16, 2021 |
2020 Popsugar reading challenge - Book by a woman of color ( )
  NCDonnas | Jan 2, 2021 |
2020 Popsugar reading challenge - Book by a woman of color ( )
  NCDonnas | Jan 2, 2021 |
61. Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid
reader: Nicole Lewis
published: 2019
format: 9:58 audible audiobook (310 pages in hardcover)
acquired: December
listened: Dec 7-21
rating: 3½
locations: Philadelphia
about the author: born in LA 1987, grew up in Arizona, lives in Philadelphia.

My latest from the Booker longlist.

Strange that this is on that list. It‘s fun, definitely, but not exactly substantial. Simplified characters in entertaining settings, plus some forced plotting. The theme of the well-meaning racism gives the book bitterness and its of-the-moment feel and significance, leaving things to think about.

The novel is about the interaction between super-rich white mom Alix and her young adult black baby-sitter Emira, who has a white love interest. I was confused early on. An hour and half in I posted on Litsy: "Trying to listen to this, but getting a little tired of the constant auto-creation of contemporary stereotypes." That post actually helped me, because it got that out of my system, and made me realize I'm applying the Booker longlist nomination to the book. So I started to accept the book as-is, or as I saw it - which is as a literary equivalent of a television sit-com. Place canned characters in funny situations and see what happens. These are the race episodes. Anyway, the book reaches its moments, especially when it seems to ask some unanswerable questions about how to respond to race in a non-racist way in a world of racism. And it was fun to listen to once I switched gears.

2020
https://www.librarything.com/topic/322920#7356114 ( )
1 vote dchaikin | Dec 27, 2020 |
The plot of this book revolves around race relations, perceptions of black people in America, black "culture" and how some white people want to embrace that, and some want to be educated and be more sensitive with fairly disastrous results.
This was particularly poignant, reading in the summer of 2020 when race relations in the US was in the news, and books about white privilege were at the top of many reading lists.
This would make a great book club read as it turns upside down some of the ideas that are generally discussed in race relations and gives the readers something to actually discuss rather than just agree with to be socially acceptable. ( )
  annebraseby | Dec 19, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 93 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Reid, Kileyprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lewis, NicoleNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
"We definitely wait for birthdays. Or even ice cream. Like [my daughter] has to earn it. Yesterday we promised her an ice cream, but then she behaved horribly. And I said, 'Then I'm sorry, ice cream is for girls who behave. And that's not you today. Maybe tomorrow.'"

---RACHEL SHERMAN,
Uneasy Street: The Anxieties of Affluence
Dedication
For Patricia Adeline Olivier
First words
That night, when Mrs. Chamberlain called, Emira could only piece together the words "... take Briar somewhere ..." and "... pay you double."
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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 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. With 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.

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