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Such a Fun Age

(G.P Putnam’s Sons)

 

A coming of age story about race, family, and love in America.

 

Author: Kiley Reid

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Reader Appeal: Adults and mature teens

 

I don’t often gush about fiction, I’ve always been a nonfiction kind of person—the more graphs and timelines the better. I’m also not much fun at parties. So, when I say Kiley Reid has written one of my favorite fiction books of this year, I really mean it.

 

Such a Fun Age is told from two points of view, Emira and Alix. Emira is a mid-twenties African American woman trying to navigate life. Her friends are more successful than she, more established than she, and more “adult” than she. Alix is Emira’s white employer. She’s in her mid-thirties, trying to navigate motherhood, feeling that she lost herself when she left New York City for a suburb. Her friends are all living the life she thought she would.

 

When Emira and Alix become even more intwined, that’s where the story begins to take off and the characters become complex. Each woman has to come to terms with mistakes made in the past, small and big. One of the women will succeed and one will fail. Each woman makes a decision that changes the course of their life and each woman faces the consequences.

 

First-time author Kiley Reid made these women more than caricatures, Emira is more than just a party girl who can’t get a real job, and Alix is more than a bored housewife who drinks too much wine and gossips. Emira can get a real job and Alix has gift that we all might wish we had.

 

I’ll be sharing this book with all my nerdy nonfiction friends, then we’ll sit around and talk about how authors choose to name characters, how even minor characters make an impression, and how choices we made in high school are best left there. We may even make a timeline.

 

Such a Fun Age is highly recommended.

 

Let's Talk About It

Use these questions to spark discussion among family members who are interested in this book:

 

• What are your thoughts after reading this book? Explain.

• Emira talks about her friends being more adult than she. What do you think makes an adult?

• Alix’s high school years come back to haunt her. What from your high school years do you wish you could change?

 

--JH

 

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