A striking and surprising debut novel from an exhilarating new voice, Such a Fun Age is a compelling and big-hearted story about race and privilege, set around a young black babysitter, her well-intentioned employer, and a surprising connection that threatens to undo them both.
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 25, 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.
With empathy and piercing social commentary, Such a Fun Age explores the stickiness of transactional relationships, what it means to make someone "family", the complicated reality of being a grown-up, and the consequences of doing the right thing for the wrong reason.
“In Such a Fun Age, Emira Tucker’s relationships with her employer and new boyfriend culminate in an unexpected, combustible triangle so ingeniously plotted and observed that my heart pounded as though I was reading a thriller. This is not a world of easy answers but one in which intentions don’t match actions and expectations don’t match consequences, where it is possible to mean something partly good and do something mostly bad. The result is both unsparing and compassionate, impossible to read without wincing in recognition - and questioning yourself. Such a Fun Age is nothing short of brilliant, and Kiley Reid is a writer we need now.” (Chloe Benjamin, author of The Immortalists)
"Such a Fun Age is such a fabulous book– - a crisp, wry, and insightful novel about class, race, and relationships. Kiley Reid is a gifted young writer with a generosity that makes her keen social eye that much funnier and sharper." (Jess Walter, author of Beautiful Ruins)
“Such a Fun Age is such a fresh voice. It’s a unique, honest portrayal of what it’s like to be a black woman in America today. Kiley Reid has delivered a poignant novel that could not be more necessary.” (Lena Waithe)