Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid
Published By: G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Summary: In the midst of a family crisis one late evening, white blogger Alix Chamberlain calls her African American babysitter, Emira, asking her to take toddler Briar to the local market for distraction. There, the security guard accuses Emira of kidnapping Briar, and Alix’s efforts to right the situation turn out to be good intentions selfishly mismanaged.
I wasn’t sure what to expect going into this story. I will say the little summary on Goodreads doesn’t do this book justice.
While the story does kick off because of the incident in the grocery store, it’s not till much later in the book that we circle back around to it. Most of the book is focusing on two pretty strange and somewhat toxic relationships that Emira finds herself in.
Her boss Alix (ALEX is her birth name but she changed it at some point.) was one of the most obnoxious characters that I’ve read in a really long time. I am not 100% sure if that was meant to be that way since this is the most toxic relationship that Emira has in the story. Alix has this white savior complex that really gets under my skin. She seems to keep counting how many Black friends she can rack up like it’s some kind of game to her. She also very clearly seems to favor her youngest daughter Catherine to the bright and inquisitive Briar.
Briar is three and Emira is her babysitter, but more than that she seems to be the only person in the child’s life that truly understands her. I loved their little relationship.
Kelly Copeland is a white man that was filming the incident in the grocery store, who then builds a relationship with Emira.
This book faces race issues head on. It’s not always blatantly obvious that someone is racist, and sometimes people with good intentions are really just doing things for themselves and to make themselves look better. This is the case with Alix. She is the absolute WORST!
Emira’s friends are also a tight knit group that are always watching out for her. I loved the friendship dynamics.
I think this was well written and makes many of us face the fact that maybe some of the things we do when it comes to race are really done for selfish and performative reasons and not to better anything for anyone else.
This is a book I would highly recommend to someone who’s not always a big fan of nonfiction but is looking to have something educational to read.
My only issue with the book is I think the characters could have been fleshed out a little more, and same is true for the story. The book isn’t that long, and I think the ending could have been a bit more well rounded.
Still a wonderful read!
I give this four out of five metal horns!