“I don’t need you to be mad that it happened. I need you to be mad that it just like… happens.”
Conversations about race and class continue to seep into our everyday lives especially now in a time where police brutality and violence against people of colour are at an all-time high.
In Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid, we take a look into the world of two women who are different in every way yet somehow their worlds intersect.
The novel begins with an uncomfortable—and all-too-familiar—the scene when 25-year-old Emira, a Black woman, is accused of kidnapping Briar, the white toddler she is babysitting, in a grocery store late at night. From there, we receive the alternating perspectives of Emira and Alix Chamberlain, Briar’s insecure mother who has mastered the art of cringe-worthy small talk and possesses a warped sense of self-awareness.
As the story continues we get to know both women, Emira is at a point in her life where she is unsure and unfocused. While all her friends around her are leveling up and making moves she is sitting at the edge not really knowing what step to take next. Her happiness comes from babysitting Briar.
She ends up dating a well-established, a little older, white man who is very much into her but from the beginning, their relationship seems uncomfortable to me. Not because he’s white and she’s Black, but because I have a distinct feeling that he thinks he’s her saviour and it makes me quite uneasy.
Briar’s mom is a social media influencer, and although she has it all… something is still missing for her. Her entire demeanor makes me cringe.
What kept me turning the page is that I was expecting Emira to stand in her power and call out some of the things that were happening around her. I wanted her to know her value and to recognize these small acts of racism and bias that were all around her.
And near the end of the book I realized that was probably the point, she’s 25, such a fun age, and all the experiences she had were for a purpose.
I really wanted to love this book but I felt that most of the issues like racism, classism, interracial dating were all very surface, there was no depth and the issues were merely brushed over.
While the story itself was interesting, I wished the author went a little deeper.