There has been a lot of buzz about this book so I decided to purchase a copy not minding that I am not too crazy about contemporary fiction and this is the author’s debut.
The story is about two protagonists. Alix Chamberlin is a married mother of two who is struggling with her family’s move from New York city to Philadelphia and how her identity has changed from spending time working as a business woman to taking care of her kids at home and trying to write a book. Emira on the other hand, is a 25 year old black graduate from Temple University who babysits for Alix three times a week to make ends meet as she has not been able to find a better job. One night, Alix calls Emira up to help with an emergency and Emira shows up at the Chamberlin home. She is asked to take their three year old daughter Bryo to a nearby store for a while to give them time to sort out the situation at hand. Emira is then harrased at the store by a security man and another lady who believe that she stole the child. This singular event in Emira’s life spirals into a series of events that will change the lives of both Emira and Alix forever.
I am surprised at myself that I stuck it up and finished this book. Maybe I was curious to how it would end and was hoping that the author will redeem herself in some way but I was highly disappointed. The story to be fair started out well but after a couple of chapters, things began to fall apart. Towards the middle, it seemed to pick up with Kelly and Emira’s budding relationship but that also went awry.
First of all, I found the dialogue very poor and almost excruciating to read or rather listen to since I listened to the audio book. I rolled my eyes so many times, I thought they were going to get stuck. It seemed all over the place with the three year old constantly interrupting conversations in ways that didn’t seem natural at all. Then, both protagonists were not to my liking. Alix for obvious reasons but Emira, I really wanted to like however, I couldn’t relate to her on any level. I liked Kelly but the author failed to develop his character and then dumped this annoying stereotype conclusion on him that made me upset with the entire story. All other characters were not strong enough to leave an impression for me to wonder if I liked them or not. The story in my opinion ended badly. There were so many other better ways the end could have gone and this was the worst route to take.
This book was not to my enjoyment at all. For a debut novel it was ok but not good enough. I hope the author will come out with something to my liking in the future.
Rating: 2.5 stars
Published: December 31st, 2019 by G. P. Putnam’s Sons
Genre: Fiction (Contemporary)
Purchase @ www.amazon.com/suchafunage
The Author: Kiley Reid (born 1984) is an American novelist. She is a recent graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop where she was the recipient of the Truman Capote Fellowship. She lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Such A Fun Age is her first novel.