I had seen Such a Fun Age all around bookstagram for a while now, so when my book club decided to read it I was thrilled. Such a Fun Age was a quick and fast paced. Asking more questions than giving concrete answers, this book discussed white savior mentality, racism, and figuring life out for yourself. Keep reading this book review to see what my book club and I thought.
Alix Chamberlain is a woman who gets what she wants and has made a living showing other women how to do the same. A mother to two small girls, she started out as a blogger and has quickly built herself into a confidence-driven brand. So she is shocked when her babysitter, Emira Tucker, is confronted while watching the Chamberlains’ toddler one night. Seeing a young black woman out late with a white child, a security guard at their local high-end supermarket 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 it 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.
With empathy and piercing social commentary, Such a Fun Age explores the stickiness of transactional relationships, what it means to make someone “family,” the complicated reality of being a grown up, and the consequences of doing the right thing for the wrong reason.
I read Such a Fun Age in two days. Partly because I had to for my book club, but also because it was a page turner. Consistently asking questions about race, microaggressions, and the white savior mentality, Such a Fun Age has an explosive beginning. Throughout the whole book I could relate to Emira and her search for a career and path. While it was pretty easy to read Such a Fun Age, it’s a book that, days later, I’m still picking apart in my head.
Such a Fun Age is a book about growth and the lack of growth. About halfway it gave me a Little Fires Everywhere vibe, which I still see even after finishing. At different points in the story, and the discussion, I could see characters points of views as they navigate heartbreak, microaggressions, and possession. It reminded me of all those people who denounce performative allyship, and then go ahead and prove to be their own worst enemy. You know the ones who might get angry on your behalf and then in the same conversation ask to touch your hair.
Throughout Such a Fun Age, I loved not only Emira’s female friendships, like her best friend Zara, but how much she loved Briar, the girl she babysits. In these scenes, Emira really comes alive. While the story is focused on the drama unfolding between Alix and Emira, it’s also a story that centers on Emira’s own journey. Such a Fun Age manages to make statements based on objectification and performative ‘wokeness’ while also featuring a heroine who is equally able to take care of herself even if she doesn’t have her next steps planned out.