Such a Fun Age
Mr B's review
The opening chapter of this book is a brilliant hook – I was absolutely gripped and needed to know what happened next with these characters. Reid’s writing is funny, smart and self-aware, and the changing viewpoint between the two central characters, Emira and Alix, and their two very different perspectives on the novel’s events, creates an interesting dynamic and depth within the story.
While the book’s subject, of race relations in the modern U.S., is politically pertinent, it’s also a fantastic, fun, escapist read.
‘A new literary star’ The Times
The instant Sunday Times and New York Times bestseller
Longlisted for the 2020 Booker Prize
When Emira is apprehended at a supermarket for ‘kidnapping’ the white child she’s actually babysitting, it sets off an explosive chain of events. Her employer Alix, a feminist blogger with the best of intentions, resolves to make things right.
But Emira herself is aimless, broke and wary of Alix’s desire to help. When a surprising connection emerges between the two women, it sends them on a crash course that will upend everything they think they know – about themselves, each other, and the messy dynamics of privilege.
‘Essential. This year’s hit debut’ Guardian
‘A biting tale of race and class’ Sunday Times
‘I couldn’t put this down’ Jojo Moyes
‘Bites into the zeitgeist then spits it out with gusto. You really should read it, ASAP’ Stylist
‘About power dynamics, race, social commentary, and also why and how we are the woman we are’ Pandora Sykes
‘An extraordinarily deft debut, written with wisdom, kindness and sharp humour’ Daily Mail
‘A beautiful tale of how we live now’ Elizabeth Day
A Reese Witherspoon and Zoella Book Club Pick
A Sunday Times, Guardian, Times, Daily Mail, i, Daily Telegraph, Grazia and Evening Standard Summer Read
This is the calling card of a virtuoso talent, a thrilling millennial spin on the 19th-century novel of manners that may call to mind another recent literary sensation. I had thought of ending this review by predicting that Kiley Reid may be the next Sally Rooney. But Such a Fun Age is so fresh and essential that I predict instead that next year we’ll be anxiously awaiting the next Kiley Reid * Guardian * What a joy to find a debut novel so good that it leaves you looking forward to the rest of its author’s career . . . A tantalisingly plotted tale about the way we live now . . . Such a Fun Age speaks for itself; I suspect it will turn its writer into a star * The Times * Will fire off a million debates . . . The pages sing with charisma and humour * Sunday Times * Razor-sharp . . . Reid writes with a confidence and verve that produce magnetic prose . . . A cracking debut – charming, authentic and every bit as entertaining as it is calmly, intelligently damning * Observer * Smart, fast-paced and beautifully observed, Reid tackles timely themes around race and political correctness with wit and verve * Mail on Sunday * Witty and incisive . . . What Kiley Reid’s debut novel delivers is a more compelling indictment of humans, of how we interact with ourselves and each other, than most writers could muster . . . A dazzlingly clear-eyed study of relationships: between partners, mothers and daughters, peers and friends * Financial Times * I LOVED this extraordinarily deft debut, written with wisdom, kindness and sharp humour . . . Clever, compelling and beautifully written * Daily Mail * Marks the arrival of a serious new talent * i * A voice to watch . . . A smart, witty debut that smuggles sharp points about racial blindness, privilege and the gig economy inside a zesty comedy of manners * Metro * One of the most buzzed-about books of 2020 – and for good reason . . . Brilliant at capturing relationships, as well as the obliviousness of white privilege. Smart, punchy, well-paced and with an irresistible twist * Elle * As a layered and evocative social commentary, Reid makes an excellent job of it, drilling down into the virtue-signalling and motivations of the white liberal elite. She wraps serious messages in chatty prose that is a pleasure to read: dialogue crackles, characters pulse with the tics of modern American specimens . . . It’s witty and subversive and leaves you feeling impressively uncomfortable * Sunday Times * Kiley Reid has written the most provocative page-turner of the year . . . Such a Fun Age nestles a nuanced take on racial biases and class divides into a page-turning saga of betrayals, twists and perfectly awkward relationships . . . Feels bound for book-club glory, due to its sheer readability * Entertainment Weekly * Fun is the operative word in Kiley Reid’s delectably discomfiting debut. The buzzed-about novel takes a thoroughly modern approach to the timeless upstairs-downstairs trope . . . This page-turner goes down like comfort food, but there’s no escaping the heartburn * Vogue * A most perfect start to my 2020 reading adventures — Sarah Jessica Parker Touching on race, class and white privilege, Kiley Reid’s page-turner keeps you flipping to see what happens next * Marie Claire * A whip-smart, keenly observed and thought-provoking examination of privilege, race and gender * Daily Mail * Grapples with racism and nods to titans of literature . . . A vivid page-turner * Vanity Fair * The first time in a long time that I had a novel glued to my hands for two days. This so seldom happens to me. It is so good! So witty, so apposite to basically EVERYTHING going on right now, so touching and humane, just utterly phenomenal * Jessie Burton, author of The Miniaturist * A startling, razor-sharp debut. Kiley Reid has written a book with no easy answers, instead filling her story with delicious grey areas and flawed points of view. It’s both wildly fun and breathtakingly wise, deftly and confidently confronting issues of race, class, and privilege. I have to admit, I’m in awe * Taylor Jenkins Reid, author of Daisy Jones and the Six * I loved this. I think it will have the same impact as Sally Rooney. Wry and intricately observed * Pandora Sykes * Culminates in an unexpected, combustible triangle so ingeniously plotted and observed that my heart pounded as though I was reading a thriller . . . Such a Fun Age is nothing short of brilliant, and Kiley Reid is the writer we need now * Chloe Benjamin, author of The Immortalists * A brilliant debut about race, power and privilege * Prima * I fell headfirst into this book and read it in one weekend. Afterwards, I felt like I’d walked a marathon in each of the characters’ shoes. The kind of writing that changes the way you see yourself and others * Erin Kelly, author of He Said/She Said * Touching on race, class, privilege, power dynamics and the emotional toll of domestic workers, Reid’s critically acclaimed debut makes for urgent, timely reading * AnOther Magazine * Kiley Reid’s propulsive, page-turning book is full of complex characters and even more complex truths – this is a bullseye of a debut * Emma Straub, author of Modern Lovers * A crisp, wry and insightful novel about class, race and relationships. Kiley Reid is a gifted young writer with a generosity that makes her keen social eye that much funnier and sharper * Jess Walter, author of Beautiful Ruins * Kiley Reid has delivered a poignant novel that could not be more necessary * Lena Waithe * Kiley Reid’s witty debut asks complicated questions around race, domestic work and the transactional nature of each * Nafissa Thompson-Spires, author of Heads of the Colored People * Gripping, substantive, complicated, compelling and just plain true … These characters laid claim to me, and their stories became important to me in the way art does that to its readers, viewers, listeners … Such a fantastic, serious and, I should say, fun read * Paul Harding, author of Tinkers * Reid excels at depicting subtle variations and manifestations of self-doubt, and astutely illustrates how, when coupled with unrecognised white privilege, this emotional and professional insecurity can result in unintended – as well as willfully unseen – consequences. This is an impressive, memorable first outing * Publishers Weekly * This is a deft coming-of-age story for the current American moment, one written so confidently it’s hard to believe it’s a first novel. Kiley Reid explores serious issues – race, class, sex, power, ambition and what it’s like to live in our hyperconnected world – with a light touch and sly humour * Rumaan Alam, author of That Kind of Mother * Reid is a sharp and delightful storyteller, with a keen eye, buoyant prose, and twists that made me gasp out loud. Such a Fun Age is a gripping page-turner with serious things to say about racism, class, gender, parenting, and privilege * Madeline Miller, internationally bestselling author of ‘Circe’ and ‘The Song of Achilles’ * Kiley Reid has written a timely novel that asks what we owe to those we care for in this complicated world. With intimate, touching observations, Reid details the lives of two complicated, loving women who are trying to figure out how to live their best lives in a world that does not always make space for them to do so * Kaitlyn Greenidge, author of We Love You, Charlie Freeman * Kiley Reid writes with a deceptively easy prose, and a forensic eye for the emotional self-sabotage and hypocrisies that make us human. I couldn’t put this down * Jojo Moyes * In her debut novel, Reid illuminates difficult truths about race, society, and power with a fresh, light hand. We’re all familiar with the phrases white privilege and race relations, but rarely has a book vivified these terms in such a lucid, absorbing, graceful, forceful but unforced way — Starred Review * Library Journal * Reid is a dialogue genius. Her evenhandedness with her varied cast of characters is impressive. Charming, challenging, and so interesting you can hardly put it down — Starred Review * Kirkus *
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