Such a Fun Age Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
Longlisted for the Booker Prize 2020
Bloomsbury presents Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid, read by Nicole Lewis.
The instant Sunday Times and New York Times best seller.
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 the best of intentions, resolves to make things right.
But Emira herself is aimless, broke and wary of Alix’s desire to help. When a surprising connection emerges between the two women, it sends them on a crash course that will upend everything they think they know – about themselves, each other and the messy dynamics of privilege.
A Reese Witherspoon and Zoella Book Club Pick.
A Times, Stylist, Elle, Glamour and BBC Best Book of 2020
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|Listening Length||9 hours and 58 minutes|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com.au Release Date||07 January 2020|
|Publisher||Bloomsbury Publishing Plc|
|Best Sellers Rank|| 6,482 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
7 in Multicultural Romance (Audible Books & Originals)
29 in Black & African American Women's Fiction (Books)
374 in Multicultural Romance (Books)
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Top reviews from Australia
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Other great things about this book are the brilliant representations of the language used by each social group, particularly Emira’s friends, and the savviness of everyone about media. This is not a book that could have been written last century. In its exploration of the human condition though, it delves into themes that are millenia old. The only reason I didn’t give it 5 stars was that it kind of peters out at the end when Elmira has moved on, but possibly I’m being too narky about that. At any rate, Reid is working on a film script of the book, so hopefully it’ll become an excellent movie.
I don't think it's giving anything away to say that the Harry Potter-style catch-up finale was a nice touch.
Top reviews from other countries
I spent 80% of this book FURIOUS. For context, I’m a black woman, and that influenced how I read this book.
Almost all of the characters in this book were infuriating. The character of Emira, the 25-year old college graduate with no real future, comes across as undeveloped. She’s written with three different personas: the sweet and seemingly only woman to understand and cherish three-year-old Briar (who’s complex personality is confusing for such a little person but okay); the quiet and almost uneducated employee of Alix (some of the interactions had me wondering about Temple’s degree program); and a partying, mid-twenties friend and girlfriend that is depicted as the “real” Emira. The problem is, none of the personas are written well – they all felt like underdeveloped caricatures that needed more complexity. Emira stresses about job security and health insurance the entire book, to the point of being jealous of her friend’s successes and having valid fears about paying bills – yet she didn’t start applying for ANY jobs until her friends made her? It’s one thing to not know your place in life after college; it’s another to seemingly not know how to put yourself in any position to better your situation. This is made clear over and over again. Emira, despite being surrounded by resources of all types, knows nothing about how to do better for herself. This mindset is exactly what Alix preys on, and where the complex of saviorism comes into play.
Moving on to Alix. The entitlement and saviorism had me livid. I will say that I appreciated the insight into her thinking, especially when she was talking with her friends. Alix’s perspective is one that I know exists, but never will truly understand. I will never know what it could be like to be a white woman with the world – and people - at her fingertips. The best writing in this book was with Tamra, Jodi and Rachel because in those moments, I could truly appreciate the dilemmas that Alix felt she had. Otherwise, she was selfish, unaware, entitled and absolutely disgusting. Her depiction of the hell of her senior year felt overexaggerated for her to still be affected 15 years later. She’s clearly done well for herself - get over it. To find out that *spoiler alerts in the remainder of this paragraph* Kelley was right about the letter after all, and that she chose to play out a victim narrative for FIFTEEN YEARS is exactly what’s wrong with the world today. Before I found out that she invited Robbie to her house unintentionally, I didn’t have a problem with her calling the police. In that moment, those kids were trespassing on her property without her permission. But knowing that SHE KNEW at the end? GAH.
I’m so furious I almost can’t finish this review. But here are a few shorter thoughts to wrap up what’s quickly becoming a novel.
Kelley: I can’t decide if Kelley truly fetishizes black people/culture. His only interactions with white people were always negative – is this why he gravitates to black people or the othe way around? I don’t know. Alix went out of her way to find out that Kelley’s other girlfriends were all “lightskinned” or “exotic” and that Emira was the exception. Yet another white person in this novel who wants to save a black person, especially one with darker skin.
Tamra: Yet someone else trying to save Emira, but this is supposed to be okay because black on black saviorism is okay. Yeah, no.
Emira’s friends: love the support system but the characterization of slang, dress, affectation, etc. is over the top. It’s possible to be relaxed with your friends and speak properly, I promise.
And then the ending? *SPOILER ALERT* What was truly resolved? Emira’s still undecided what to do with life, even after her boss literally told her to move up and on. Briar is seemingly still ignored, although it’s unclear if there’s a new black nanny in the picture. No changes from Kelley either, just back to his standard black arm candy to make himself feel better about his life choices.
It only gets a two for the friendship stories – those were well written. Outside of that, I’d give this zero stars if I could and I could have done without reading this book.
It was an easy read , indeed an unputdownable book and yet I can't say I'd recommend it to any friends...
Overall, the whole book became a struggle to follow and the ending cemented the feeling of wishing you'd never purchased it.