Growing Up

Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid is a slice of reality in its portrayal of characters and life events.

Emira is in her mid-twenties struggling with career goals.  Her friends are all employed full-time, while she is a part-time babysitter and typist.  While babysitting three-year-old Briar one night, she is discriminated against in an uppity grocery store.  A bystander happens to videotape the episode, but she does not want to pursue any legal action.  She does end up in a relationship with the videographer, who is a slightly older white male named Kelley.

Meanwhile, her employer Alix (Briar’s mom) is having her own career struggles.  She received fame for her feminist movement, but a move to Philadelphia for her husband’s job has her feeling unmotivated and lonely.  She becomes obsessed with Emira.  She peaks at her phone every chance she gets, and desperately wants to bond with her.

It turns out that Kelley and Alix have more in common than their fondness for Emira, adding another element to the novel.  Alix becomes desperate to keep Emira employed with her family.  Readers will have to see how far she is willing to go to make this happen.

I appreciated Emira’s cool vibe and loved her interactions with little Briar.  Briar is a unique and innocent voice throughout the book.  This is a thoroughly engaging read about life, relationships and needing to make difficult choices throughout the process.

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