Such A Fun Age

Such A Fun Age

eBook - 2019
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"Alix Chamberlain is a woman who gets what she wants and has made a living, with her confidence-driven brand, showing other women how to do the same. So she is shocked when her babysitter, Emira Tucker, is confronted while watching the Chamberlains' toddler one night, walking the aisles of their local high-end supermarket. The store's security guard, seeing a young black woman out late with a white child, 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 things 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."-- Publisher's description
Publisher: 2019
ISBN: 9780525541929
Branch Call Number: eBook
Characteristics: 1 online resource

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Mar 26, 2020

I found this book quite boring. The storyline was just plain boring. I guess it's supposed to be making some big statement about racism, but I just didn't feel it.

Mar 15, 2020

oh, the cracks that form between intention, action, and result; between how we see ourselves and how others perceive us.
i've swirled, but i had to look up some words in urban dictionary. sigh, i am officially old.

MaryBee Mar 14, 2020

I think it's time to stop reading books that have been chosen by Reese Witherspoon as part of her book club. This was shallow, had very little plot and it was based on a silly high school incident that any grown adult should have moved past after a year or two. I assume it was meant to be a comment on race and inequality, but it was poorly done.

Mar 12, 2020

I couldn’t put down the book until I finished! I enjoyed learning about Alix, Emira, and everyone in their social circles. Very interesting social commentary on race and privilege with a nice satirical twist. I’m glad I went out to buy the book instead of twiddling my thumbs on the waitlist for a couple of months. Highly recommend!

Mar 12, 2020

I read this for the "A Hardcover" part of my 2020 reading challenge. I have mixed feelings about this book. I read it almost in a single day, so it was definitely gripping enough to keep me focused, but I'm not sure I was really into the plot or the characters. The ending also felt a bit loose and unsatisfying.

Mar 08, 2020

Unlike previous reviewers, I just couldn’t get into this book and gave up about a quarter of the way through. I know it it has had rave reviews, especially because it cleverly addresses the rabid racism that still lurks beneath the surface of American society, but there is only so much inane dialogue between “twenty somethings” that I can endure. And there were pages of it! Maybe if you are also a “twenty something” you might get something out of it. I’m not and I didn’t.

Mar 07, 2020

Overall a very quick and easy read. My main problem with this book is that it's primary point of emphasis is on race, and race is not something that comes across easily from words on a page. I had a hard time remembering what ethnicity the characters were (namely Emira and Alix's groups of friends) so sometimes the impact of the words were lost on me.

For example:
Emira, a young African American woman, goes to her employer Alix's house for Thanksgiving where Alix remarks to herself how great it was that there were 5 black people in attendance, ("Oh how diverse and accepting am I..." kind of sentiment). For the life of me I could name two at that moment, I had to really sit there and think about it.

Feb 26, 2020

The author brings the art of a good, enjoyable read together with important social commentary. The racial issue is portrayed from various angles from many sides of a story or particular relationships. Great book for discussion.

Feb 11, 2020

Fantastic novel! Great discussion on race, class and money. Really good for a book club choice. There are few books I have flown through in a few days and this is one. Highly recommend. Complex characters and dive into why we make certain decision when we engage or don't engage.

Jan 31, 2020

A couple weeks ago, I travelled up to Oakland with Russell to hear Kiley Reid talk about her new novel. We arrived about 30 minutes before the start and the bookstore was packed. The positive buzz and the selection for Reese’s Book Club brought out a lot of people. Kiley Reid was charming and wonderful. She told anecdotes about her own experience dealing with racism and privilege, which are both themes in her book. She discussed how she was a nanny for a number of years, and while that informed a lot of the book, the novel is still fiction. She described her novel as class warfare plus a meet cute.

I knew I had to buy the book. I purchased it along with “In The Dream House” which I held at the same time she signed my book. She saw the book by Carmen Maria Machado and said “Hey, I know her. We’re in a writing group.” She signed my book, was so wonderful and funny, I knew I would love this book.

“Such a Fun Age” starts when Alix called Emira, her nanny, on a Saturday night. She asks her to come over because there was an incident and she didn’t want her daughter to be there when the police arrived. Emira agreed and took young Briar to the local store to occupy their time. While in the store, a white woman told a security guard that she thought that the girl was kidnapped. The security guard confronted Emira which created a scene. The incident was recorded by Kelley, a man who was also in the store and concerned with the racist encounter. Kelley and Emira meet again later and start dating. Embarrassed by the incident , Alix tries to keep Emira as Briar’s nanny, while Emira is looking at her live and trying to plan for her future and keep her health insurance.

I really enjoyed this book. The book feels relevant. We could have seen this incident play out on social media at any time. But the book isn’t heavy handed or weighty. Readers will really feel for Emira who is struggling to find her way into adulthood who doesn’t have the money or status of her friends. The novel has many funny moments. What stuck out to me though was the ending. It was one of the best endings I’ve read for a novel. It feels so true to the chapters, totally believable, never saccharine nor tied up too neatly.

The chapters alternate between the points of view of Alix and Emira. I think that it’s useful to contrast the characters. Each has such a strong voice that the contrast and the reflection on their class is obvious. My only problem with the novel may be that I didn’t like the chapters with Alix’s point of view, because I didn’t like Alix and I didn’t sympathize with her at all. I think I would have preferred all from Emira’s view point because she was great.

If you haven’t read this yet, I highly recommend it. It’s funny, sweet, and realistic. ★★★★★ • Hardcover • Fiction • Purchased at A Great Good Place for Books in Oakland.▪️

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