Thanks to Libro.fm for the Audio Listening Copy!
I’m way behind on reviews – I started Such a Fun Age back in February and finished it in March – so please bear with me. It was a pretty difficult book to review, but it was very much worth the read.
A striking and surprising debut novel from an exhilarating new voice, Such a Fun Age is a page-turning and big-hearted story about race and privilege, set around a young black babysitter, her well-intentioned employer, and a surprising connection that threatens to undo them both.
Alix Chamberlain is a woman who gets what she wants and has made a living showing other women how to do the same. A mother to two small girls, she started out as a blogger and has quickly built herself into a confidence-driven brand. So she is shocked when her babysitter, Emira Tucker, is confronted while watching the Chamberlains’ toddler one night. Seeing a young black woman out late with a white child, a security guard at their local high-end supermarket 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 it 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.
CWs: racism, microagressions, fetishization, sexism, fatphobia
The first chapter of this book pretty much blew me away, it was so good. After that, it took me a while to read this book though.
I think this was a really good book, and one that will definitely stay with me. But I’m not sure how much I actually *enjoyed* it. That’s not at all the book’s fault, but moreso proof of my own experience with adult fiction.
I think it was a very accessible read, and I really liked Emira’s chapters and I was very much rooting for her throughout the book. And Alix’s chapters were interesting, because they showed a really unlikeable character in a very realistic way. Both of these things, I really appreciated. But it was a little difficult seeing them combined in one book, and it made me feel like there was a sort of disconnect at times, keeping me from fully enjoying this.
I found myself rooting for Emira, and viscerally disliking Alix. And I realize that was the point of the book, and it worked really well and achieved amazing things. But the thing is… It made me enjoy the book less, because it made me feel like I was reading two very different books at once. I found myself feeling invested in one chapter, then being so annoyed in the next, and so on.
But like I said, that doesn’t take away from the fact I thought this was a really *good* book. It’s definitely one that makes you think and reflect.
Have you read this book? Is it on your TBR?