ICYMI: This is an irresistible story and set of characters, but with fascinating depth. The issues Reid explores are enormous and are important to all of us, every day, and she wraps them in an immensely readable work of fiction. I just loved it.
Such a Fun Age centers around a young Black babysitter, her employer, and the complicated nature of their transactional relationship.
Reid questions: How much do our assumptions about race, power, intentions, and desires affect our selves, our relationships, or our society? How much of what we consider fact and truth is skewed by our histories, our prejudices, our privilege or hardship, or our inability to face uncomfortable realities?
Emira is drifting in a familiar twentysomething way, yet on each page of the story she also cements her sense of self and what she wants, which is so satisfying to watch. I loved her dialogue anytime someone needed a talking-to. She’s clearheaded and badass and loving and wonderful.
Alix and her friends were tough for me to take for most of the book, yet Reid did make me feel some sympathy for her lack of self-awareness and her blunders. It feels notable that her frequent missteps (disastrous high school past, misrepresentation of where she lives, lack of promised book pages, husband’s racially insensitive comment on tv, small-minded pettiness and obsession with weight, looks, and past wrongs, etc.) don’t negatively affect her life for the vast majority of instances.
Emira and Briar are two of the best characters I’ve read in ages. I wasn’t totally hooked by the ending but really wasn’t going to be fully satisfied without an endless Emira-Briar lovefest. Side note: I’d love a spinoff in the form of an alternate reality series in which they have adventures together for the rest of their lives. ❤️
I was provided with a copy of this title by Penguin Group Putnam and NetGalley.
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Kiley Reid is also the author of Come and Get It, Complexity, and George Washington's Teeth.