I received a free audio copy of Such a Fun Age from the Libro.fm ACL program, and Macmillan Audio. All opinions are my own.
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 twenty-five, 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.
I usually prefer plot driven novels, and only occasionally like character driven novels if they are done well and let me tell you: this one fits that bill! Such A Fun Age is one of the best character driven books I have ever read!
Each characters is so well developed that they seem like people you know. And maybe that’s what’s so great: they don’t feel fictional, they feel real. Nothing unbelievable, nothing over the top, just very realistic characters that perfectly lend themselves to tell this complex story of different social classes, races, and genders. Instead of approaching any of these emotional topics with angst or one polarized point of view, Reid has expertly written her characters to play devils advocate for her: I was truly able to see both sides of each complicated situation, even though it saddened me to think about just how much our societal norms dictate the way we think, speak and interact with others.
That being said, I find this novel to be an important look into those tough ideas. The confrontation mentioned in the synopsis is really just the tipping off point for a very heartfelt story about love, life, loss, moving on and finding one’s self. I was fully vested in this story and recommend it to everyone.