Kiley Reid’s Such a Fun Age
Two women find themselves in strange predicament that forces the reader to (re)examine race and class dynamics.
TRT: This started off slow for me, but once it picked up, it was going. I definitely recommend this book, and urge you to stop reading now if you don’t want any spoilers.
There are a lot of well written characters in this book— which is the backbone to a solid story. And I had thoughts on each one of them.
Emira (our main character) is reminiscent of several Viola Davis characters. At some point, I did expect a “You is kind. You is smart…” inspirational pep talk to the young Briar, a young girl that Emira cares for. But if I am being completely honest, that was the one breakup that I knew was coming and still had a hard time grappling with. Yes, she has to leave the child.
Alix/Alex. An awful person. She is Susan Surandon, or Susan B Anthony (or some white woman named Susan?). She uses black women, or women of color, but has no real “care” for them. She was BIG mad when Emira called her husband, Peter, by his first name. Wanting to maintain status over her help. Desiring a particular quota of black people in her life, but only the ones she could save or the ones that were successful and ignorant to the black experience (read: Tamra— not American Black and dumb successful).
Zara is the friend that you wish you had.
Kelley definitely fetishized black women, but (don’t crucify me here) I feel like if the women were Asian, there would be very little discussion about this. There are talks about Asian fetishization, don’t misunderstand me, but I feel like there is a a louder outcry when it comes to black women. And so, I guess my point is, if he treats her well, and more than likes her, gives her what she wants and needs, and doesn’t make her do weird slave/slave master role play, what difference does it make if it started from fetishization? It would all turn out in the end, right? Convince me.
Tamra. Bitch and black best friend to Alix. Oh and fuck her with that wig tugging shit. How awful. Next.
Peter. I don’t know, but I will say “you are the company you keep.”
Laney deserved better. She will have to work 10 times harder to get another segment that she can produce because of this, but she also agreed to do something shady? So there’s that.
Briar/Bri/B, a victim that I imagine will write a book about black nannies when she grows up. Her is kind. Her is smart. Her is beautiful.
Let’s discuss. Leave your thoughts in the comments.