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 a ‘personal brand’ and the best of intentions, resolves to make things right.
But Emira herself is aimless, broke and wary of Alix’s desire to help. When she meets someone from Alix’s past, the two women find themselves on a crash course that will upend everything they think they know – about themselves, each other, and the messy dynamics of privilege.
I am officially a fan of Reese Witherspoon’s picks for her book club and decided to pick this up! Her choice of books are always on point but I’m not really sure about this one.
Such a Fun Age follows the aftermath of Emira (an African American babysitter who was employed by Alix Chamberlain, a white blogger, to babysit Briar) being accused of kidnapping Briar in a grocery store. The themes and issues raised in this book are very novel to me. I was introduced to the concepts of transactional relationship (a relationship where both parties are in it for themselves), white savior complex (refers to a white person who provides help to non-white people in a self-serving manner) and racial fetishism which I have never come across before in other books. Of course, the issues of racial inequality and domestic racism are also the highlight of the book. Such issues are well interwoven with the plot of the story which makes it intriguing to read.
However, there are also some problems with the story. Firstly, the dialogue between the characters are too casual to the extent that I feel that there’s not much depth in their conversation. There’s too much “Uh oh…”, “Ummm…”, “Ooops…”, “Uh Huh….” in the dialogue and it is quite distracting and annoying. Secondly, the characterizations of both female protagonists (Emira and Alix) are a bit dull to me. To be honest, I dislike both of the characters. Emira seems to be very lost in her life and Alix has a selfish and arrogant personality. I only enjoy reading the interaction between Emira and Briar, which to me is quite believable and well done. There is also the problem of the ending of the story (which I think most reviewers share the same sentiment with me). It ended so abruptly and I feel that the layering of the plot with the racial issues has gone to waste.
But still, I think this is still a refreshing read and it deserves a 7/10 star rating. If you enjoy reading books which incorporate racial issues, Such a Fun Age may be the pick for you!