Literary Quote of the Month

"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies," said Jojen. "The man who never reads lives only one." - George R.R. Martin, A Dance With Dragons

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Such a Fun Age by Kiely Reid... A Review

First book of the year and what a thought-provoking read. My emotions were running in so many directions, as the stories of each of the main characters played out and their histories revealed.

The opening "incident" of the book just sucks you in. Emira, the 25 year-old black babysitter of a very privileged white couple, is accused of kidnapping their daughter when she takes the little girl into an upscale market late at night. Words are exchanged, things happen, a bystander films it and as I feverishly read the pages because I wanted to find out how it ends I am thinking that this is what the book is about. This incident. But it's not. Deceptively this incident really isn't the story at all, it just serves as a catalyst for everything else.

Mother of the little girl, Alex, feels guilty over the incident and decides to try and become friends with Emira. Try to treat her like an "equal", which doesn't really work out too well because they really live in two very different worlds. And we see this as the book navigates the two women's lives separately and together. Emira doesn't really want to be friends and she doesn't want her "help" either.  

But when something from Alex's past connects the two women, it causes an explosion of emotions from both women, and the story really takes off. OMG... Any fa├žade that these characters had just got burned off in the fire.

The writing is fresh. The story is complex and interesting. You can really read this story in many ways. On the surface it's a story about Emira's "coming-of-age", a story of a young black girl trying to find herself as she navigates her life with 2 part time jobs and a strong group of women she calls friends. It's about the strong bond of women's friendship. It's about being young and vulnerable. But deeper into the layers of the story you see the social commentary Kiley Reid is pointing out about race, privilege and the the choices we make to be true to ourselves.

The characters are awesome. The author really develops their personalities, lives and back stories. Once you start reading Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid, you won't want to put it down. There is so much more to talk about, but if I did, it would reveal all sorts of spoilers. That being said, this would make a great book club selection, because believe me, there is plenty to discuss. I definitely give it a solid 4 stars.

I want to thank Penguin Group Putnam for sending along a digital copy for me to review.


Harvee said...

With that interesting review, the novel has been put on my list. I am very curious now about the story.

Allison said...

Hey, Suzanne, very nice review. I've reserved it from the local library and look forward to reading it, Kind regards, Allison

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