Title: Such a Fun Age
Authors: Reid, Kiley
Genre: Fiction
Pages: 320
Year: 2020
Language: English
Description: There's a perfectly plausible explanation as to why Emira Tucker has three-year-old Briar with her in an upscale Philadelphia supermarket late on a Saturday night. However, the store's security guard is having none of it because Emira is black and Briar is white. Emira, the well-educated young woman that she is, is a babysitter for the Chamberlain family, Peter a news anchor, and Alix, a feminist blogger. Following the 'incident', which just happened to get recorded by a bystander, life is about to get interesting in ways that none of them could possibly have imagined.

Clever and thought-provoking, this is a nuanced examination of race and privilege in the here and now.
Categories: Fiction, Contemporary, Culture/Ethnic/Racial, Gender Issues, Human Rights, Relationships, America, 2021 Titles


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By: MANGWH 004 2022-05-11 13:27:45
Very mixed views - some felt the characters were too shallow and the plot/message too predictable. Others enjoyed the characters and felt they learned about privilege.

By: TAUP 006 2022-05-11 13:13:31
Several of our group disliked the book so much they chose not to complete it. Those of us who enjoyed it were happy to defend it; we had a spirited and prolonged discussion about reading outside our own life experiences. Themes of racism, modern culture, otherness and U.S/N.Z differences all explored, but no one changed their mind!!

By: CHCH 336 2022-05-06 12:53:37
Good discussion, but generally didn't enjoy the book.

By: CHCH 393 2022-05-05 15:56:50
A slow start, but a desire to know the outcome motivated you on. Certainly a different perspective.

By: DUNED 089 2022-03-28 16:26:51
There was a wide range of opinion regarding this read. Some of our members did not complete it - giving up early in the read. Our hostess of the month, anticipating this, found an interview where the author shared her thoughts, which gave depth to the discussion that followed. We thought it could appeal to American readers more. Emira was the strongest character - some were rather 'weak'. Also the 'action' only began in Part 3 of the book, with everything coming together quickly at the end. We have read better!

By: PIOPIO 001 2022-03-24 18:02:48
A light read but complex at the same time. There were differing opinions within the group. Characters were revealed slowly and cleverly, sometimes believable, sometimes not and quite often frustrating. Generated good discussion; very American which at times (with the lack of in depth knowledge of the American culture) led to missing some of the subtle messages. Good notes.

By: AUCK 293 2021-12-17 12:22:54
Thought-provoking and humorous, with well developed, believable characters. Easy to read.

By: NELS 002 2021-11-17 14:45:10
Some of the group didn't get it at all, but those who liked it thought it was very perceptive and intelligent.

By: WINT 001 2021-10-31 10:08:23
Several members of the group didn't enjoy the book as they found it was too hard to get into the story or felt it wasn't relevant to them. However the rest found it quite powerful with interesting and relevant themes. It was thought provoking to those of us who are not digital natives and helped us understand how younger generations can second guess themselves when dealing with new or unexpected situations.

By: KATIK 006 2021-10-01 13:47:42
We enjoyed the interplay between Alix the mother, and her black baby-sitter Emira. Such an unusual story, and quite touching to see the devotion and love between Emira and her small 3 year old charge, Briar. Many twists and turns revealed more of the character of the main players. An excellent read.

By: TAUR 015 2021-09-13 11:29:06
An interesting and perceptive view of modern day society. Clever, well paced story offering great discussion opportunity.

By: CHCH 010 2021-08-23 14:36:15
Several people had hardly started or had not finished the book, as they found it either difficult to read and/or were not interested in persevering. Those who did finish found it more interesting as they read on. We did wonder if we were in the wrong age group for this book!

By: ONAWE 001 2021-08-15 17:26:05
This book didn't really hit the spot for our group. Several didn't finish it. Although it was generally agreed that it was well written most found the characters and dialogue (there was a lot!) difficult to relate to. We felt it was written for an American audience.

By: RAWEN 001 2021-08-06 14:44:18
Very American outlook in this book. We have 2 members who were born in the USA so brought a lot to our discussion. A modern book. Discusses the question of colour in our society. We had a good discussion because of the insight of the two Americans in the group. Liked the character of Emira. Found Alix hard to believe in.

By: CHCH 145 2021-08-02 12:04:55
A well-written book from a new young writer. Everyone got something different from this book. It had many layers and many insights that made us think. Only one member did not enjoy it but she read it and agreed the writing was good. Made for a lively discussion.

By: NELS 048 2021-07-19 14:28:17
Mixed reviews from our group - some found it hard to relate to the American values; not really worthy of a Booker Prize longlist.

By: QUEEN 001 2021-07-19 14:26:03
Great discussion on underlying racial theme.

By: AUCK 208 2021-07-09 14:17:11
Interesting account of American society - appreciated it as an insight into American life. Didn't find it a fun read, and wondered when the fun age would start. Some enjoyed the read, others didn't...

By: AUCK 009 2021-07-09 13:57:22
Where to start?? Two members refused to read the book, one liked it and felt it was "interesting" and she wanted to know what happened. The remaining five were "under-whelmed" and felt that it did not live up to all the hype...

By: ASHB 016 2021-06-22 07:29:48
This would be one of the few books that all of us did not like! A couple started it and didn't even bother to finish it. Got very frustrated with Alix who just needed to keep out of everyone else's business and get on with her own life...

By: LOWER 018 2021-06-09 14:52:20
It would be fair to say that the May book hit the mark for a few people, and was a dismal failure for others. Those who liked it valued it as providing a useful insight into a generation and youth culture that is somewhat foreign to many in our age group. They felt it provoked worthwhile questions about relationships and race, along with insights into the huge significance of social media in the lives of the millennial generation. Several people found the colloquial language too challenging or offensive for their taste, criticised its 'Americanism', credibility, relevance and writing style.

By: WELL 150 2021-06-09 14:45:11
Most found the first half quite slow, but the second half quite riveting. Very unlikeable characters put a couple off. Interesting study of how race plays out.

By: MATAM 002 2021-04-21 13:35:17
This book divided our group more than any other book has! While the topic was on point, the language and writing put half the members off. Those that loved it understood the messaging and what the author was portraying. It led to a robust discussion on racism, unconscious bias and overall our state in NZ with our multi-cultural society. Very hard to rate due to the split in the group.

By: TEPUK 006 2021-04-16 13:36:04
Diverse reactions to 'Such a Fun Age'. Some members thought it shallow and pointless, while others enjoyed the modern setting and were challenged by the racism, both overt ( the store incident) and covert (Alix and Kelley) by supposedly liberal people.

By: WELL 045 2021-03-10 12:28:14
This was one of our most favourite books. We had a great discussion.

By: DANNE 005 2021-01-10 17:01:49
Easily relatable characters and convincing and interesting plot with twists and entwinement with the overall agenda of racism through the storytelling. Well executed by the author. Most of our group read the book and all that did gave it a solid 4 stars.

By: CHCH 502 2020-11-19 13:27:56
Most people liked the book, and it brought up some interesting conversation about race.

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