So I’ve written a novel, now in its editing stages, and I’ve started to research literary agents to find the right ones to query. Lots of agents have a Manuscript Wish List (#mswl) or mention books they’ve loved, to give writers an idea of what they’re looking for. Kiley Reid’s Such a Fun Age often appeared on those lists.
Here’s the gist: Alix Chamberlain is a successful white businesswoman who knows how to get what she wants. When her black babysitter, Emira, takes Alix’s daughter to a local top-range grocery store and gets accused of kidnapping the toddler, Alix puts all her energy into making things right.
Emira is 25, broke, and unsure what to do with her life, but she finds Alix’s desire to help unsettling. When the video of Emira’s grocery-store confrontation goes viral, someone from Alix’s past comes back in the picture, and the two women’s lives converge in a way they never saw coming.
Now that I’ve read it, I went on Amazon to read some reviews. It gets 4 stars overall, but the reviews are pretty mixed. Books, especially ones that deal with race, can never please everyone!
I liked how Reid kept me guessing which characters I should believe, and who was the “villain”.
Emira’s relationship with the toddler, Briar, was entertaining to read, as Briar is such a funny little girl. The book is an excellent commentary on how identity is formed and who is allowed to help shape it, and it highlights how prejudice can come out without you even realizing it.
The race dynamics were interesting. As a white woman, I won’t (can’t) comment on how the characters of color were portrayed, although it seems like some readers of color weren’t happy about it (despite the author being a woman of color).
Have you read this one? I’d love to know your thoughts on it.
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