Hey, have you met me? Are you aware that I am a book nerd? I even listen to bookish podcasts. One of the podcasts I like is “All The Books!” from Bookriot.com, hosted by my literary hero Liberty Hardy. She reads like 300+ books a year and when I listed to an episode back in August, she was gushing about Such A Fun Age, Kiley Reid’s debut novel. I put it on my radar and waited, agonizingly, for this book to come out. Thank goodness it did NOT disappoint me!
This novel centers around Emira, an African-American babysitter who works for Alix Chamberlain and her daughter Briar, a white Instagram influencer & wife of a white news anchor in Philadelphia. Late one evening, Alix calls Emira to come over to take care of Briar in an emergency. Emira decides to take Briar over to the nearby grocery store to keep her entertained. Another customer sees them walking thorugh the store and alerts security, thinking a Black woman has kidnapped a white girl. A bystander captures it all on video. Aliz & Emira’s lives become even more linked as Alix tries to do right and Emira just wants to get health insurance.
This book was super readable & interesting & important. I read it in 3 days, and loved every minute. The characters were vibrant. I loved the layers of background information we got about the characters, and how each chapter alternated the focus from Emira’s point of view to Alix’s.
I loved to hate Alix, and I think it’s because she is a white mother who grew up with privilege, just like I did. I saw some pieces of myself reflected in her – a woman who tries so hard to be “woke” and just ends up completely doing it wrong. It’s a look at allyship & white saviorism, as well as a look at the racism that exists in the world that we live in. I loved the way this novel made me think & reflect on my own allyship and what I can do to improve the lives of others. 5 star read for me!