When Emira is apprehended at a supermarket for ‘kidnapping’ the white child she’s actually babysitting, it sets off an explosive chain of events. Her employer Alix, a feminist blogger with a ‘personal brand’ and the best of intentions, resolves to make things right.
But Emira herself is aimless, broke and wary of Alix’s desire to help. When she meets someone from Alix’s past, the two women find themselves on a crash course that will upend everything they think they know – about themselves, each other, and the messy dynamics of privilege.
Such a Fun Age really made me think and reflect, long after I’d finished reading it – something I love in a book. I found it lulled me into a false sense of security – at the begninning it definitely feels like an easy, fun but not necessarily hugely deep read about teenage girls and a priveleged mother and blogger. However, as the book continues, that sense of simplicity soon disappears and the story becomes a frank and important look at relationships – both platonic and romantic – between people of different backgrounds, ages and (most importantly in this case) races.
This novel does a convincing job of making the reader consider what life must be like for a person of colour, esepcially in America. The story does of course address a lot of important issues and themes, but it’s all portrayed in a very matter-of-fact way – it never feels preachy – which I think makes it that much more effective. I’m half Iranian so I’m not white as such, but I still can’t image what it must be like to be a black female just trying to live the best life they can. Emira comes up against racism and prejudice in many forms, and in many different settings.
I personally would have preferred there to be a different ending, but I feel like the ‘real ending is more realistic and works better for the story anyway (I don’t want to give any spoilers so I won’t say any more here).
I hugely enjoyed Such a Fun Age, not just because the subject matter is incredibly interesting and important, but also because it’s very easy to read. I found myself racing through it and the way Kiley Reid writes means that the story flows so well – reading it doesn’t ever feel like hard work, the way that some novels can unfortunately be. Definitely recommended!
Many thanks to Bloomsbury Publishing for providing a copy of this novel, on which I chose to write an honest and unbiased review.