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The book took off very slowly for me, till I finished Part 1 and was instantly floored by the turn the book took, and the writing. Such a Fun Age seems so less on the surface, and it is so much more the moment you give it time, dedication, and continue reading it without stopping. At times, the book is also quite deceptive in its approach, making you believe that it is about the men and not the women, whereas it is only about the women and rightly so.
The book is about Emira Tucker, a young black woman, who is all of 25 years old, lives in Philadelphia, with two part-time jobs (typist and babysitter), with no benefits and no health insurance at all. She wants to do more in her life but is always held back for one reason or the other. In all of this, her life is brought to the forefront involving an upscale grocery store, where she is on an errand with the toddler of her employer, Alix, who is white. Alix is deeply embarrassed by the incident and takes on Emira as a project - to get to know her better and make wrongs right.
This then leads to a series of questions raised throughout the book about class, gender, race, parenthood, forgiveness, and what it takes to be a person in the twenty-first century. The plot and the semi-plots are full of nuances as created by Reid. The book is funny, and before you know it, it becomes serious talking about racial biases, and the prejudices we seem to hold onto, sometimes even unintentionally.
Reid writes from a place of awareness and experience, which adds to the many dimensions of the book. The characters aren't all black and white, and you do not expect them to be that was well. The greyness is something that just sneaks up (Emira's boyfriend and what happens thereof). There is a lot of engagement with the reader, in the sense of being vested, as the pages turn. I often found myself not wanting this book to end because of the way it is written.
Such a Fun Age besides me a solid book of and for our times, is a read that will leave you bedazzled and wanting more. It's take on privilege, wealth, class, and crossing of paths of people is refreshing, and makes it a compulsive read on so many levels.
One of the books that pretty much intrigued me as a reader this year was 'Such a Fun Age' by Kiley Reid. With features in almost every list of books coming out in 2020, this one promised a captivating and fun ride alongside exploring the pretty serious issue of racism towards black people. So, picking up as one of the first books this year, here is my take on this interesting book.
Such A Fun Age is the story revolving around two characters whose lives have intertwined with each other in a very interesting situation. Alix Chamberlain is someone who is portrayed as a woman who gets what she seeks. A mother to two, one of which is being taken care by Emira Tucker, a black woman who is one day confronted by a random woman at supermarket and is accused of kidnapping. A bystander who shoots the entire incident is now an important part of Emira who years back had crossed ways with Alix as well and the lives comes crashing down when they all meet up one day.
The concept though is pretty unique was not explored well throughout. The writing though is quite simple and easy to grasp tends to lose what it actually tried to convey. When I had picked up this book, I felt it would be exploring the intricacies of how prejudiced black people feel in the world but what is finally delivered is more of a chick lit which just grazes on the topic. Some chapters as well felt unnecessary to me and I was forced to make my way through them with a book that had a pretty unsatisfactory end. Though the book wasn't entirely bad. It had its moments that did bring smile on your faces and the pretty light writing makes up for those boring chapters.
While picking up this book the only question that popped in my head was what age is a fun age? Well, let’s get to it in the end. . Emira, who is black, soon to turn 26 is totally sucked into middle age crisis; has a barely sustainable babysitting job (for Alex and Peter Chamberlain- upper-class white couple with two daughters). Emira and Briar (Alex‘s daughter) share a very cosy and trusted relationship. Alex being a very on the go, carrier occupied person hardly has time for Briar or the sitter taking care of her daughter. However, one particular incident wakes up Alex to get to know her, which spirals into an all-consuming obsession with Emira. Is it to keep her from quitting the job or is it an unlikely crush? Decoding Emira affirmed the progression of Alex‘s inner self and this in turn is author’s adroitness in satirising the limited outlook and wokeness of white people. . While the title kept me in casual deception, the story with such a rousing concept had quite an easy breezy and effortless narration. . I found it readable, albeit the undercooked writing. It very slowly engages the reader as it progresses, heading to an end that I found rather inconclusive. . Lastly, what still remains unresolved is “what age is a fun age?"