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 the best of intentions, resolves to make things right.
But Emira herself is aimless, broke and wary of Alix’s desire to help. When a surprising connection emerges between the two women, it sends them 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 is a story you won’t be forgetting in a hurry, as Reid brilliantly writes two believable protagonists who live two completely different lives.
Emira, 20-something, is the first protagonist we meet. She often babysits for the Chamberlain family who are white and wealthy.
The plot starts with Emira being accused of kidnapping a child she is taking care of because the security guard of the local convenient shop believes it’s suspicious that a black woman like Emira would be looking after a white child late at night.
Alix Chamberlain is the second protagonist and the mother of Briar, the toddler Emira looks after. She has her own business, a husband and two young children. She lives in a big house and appears to have everything anyone could possibly wish for.
Even though the incident at the shop is a big part of the plot, it isn’t mentioned a lot during the story. It’s very subtle. It pops up now and again, but Emira just wants to forget it happened. While Emira worries it may have negatively impacted her job, Alix spends most of her time appearing to be concerned about what happened to her nanny that evening.
Alix is a character that has a lot of white privilege but doesn’t acknowledge it or realise she has it. Alix also seems to fixate more on Emira after what happened that night at the shop. She tries to befriend her, but her actions throughout the book are very unnerving.
I thought flicking from both perspectives was really interesting because both women see the world differently. I was intrigued to read about Alix’s past and teenage years too because it added more depth to her character. And it is nice to get an insight into Emira’s world, friendships, nights out and see real concerns of a young person who isn’t sure what the future holds.
There are lots of twists and turns in this novel that aren’t predictable either. There are two twists that stood out, one mid way through the book and the second towards the end. Both were unexpected but really gripping to read.
One particular character that stands out is Kelley Copeland, Emira’s love interest. Throughout the book there are a couple of characters, including Copeland, who are an enigma and as a reader I wasn’t sure who to trust.
Emira is the only character who appears to be genuinely kind, with no ulterior motive. The fact she could stick up for herself too at the convenient store, and throughout the story, was very nice to see as she was such a kind individual, especially towards Briar. Emira is a character I won’t be forgetting for a long time.
This was a really captivating and unexpected read, that was impossible to put down. The only flaw I saw in the book was the ending. I expected more for one of the main characters. But overall the plot was engrossing right from the start.
What has been one of your favourite read of the year so far?
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