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Such a Fun Age

Written by: Kiley Reid
Narrated by: Nicole Lewis
Length: 9 hrs and 58 mins
4 out of 5 stars (23 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Longlisted for the Booker Prize 2020

Bloomsbury presents Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid, read by Nicole Lewis.  

A striking and surprising debut novel from an exhilarating new voice, Such a Fun Age is a big-hearted story about race and privilege, set around a young black babysitter, her well-intentioned employer and a surprising connection between them that threatens to undo them both.  

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 a ‘personal brand’ and the best of intentions, resolves to make things right.  

But Emira herself is aimless, broke and wary of Alix’s desire to help. When she meets someone from Alix’s past, the two women find themselves on a crash course that will upend everything they think they know - about themselves, each other and the messy dynamics of privilege.

©2020 Kiley Reid (P)2020 Penguin Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"The first time in a long time that I had a novel glued to my hands for two days." (Jessie Burton) 

"Sharp and observant and pacey. Will have the same impact as Sally Rooney." (Pandora Sykes)  

"A book that is clever, funny and shrewd, written by an author whose empathy can make you weep and smile, sometimes at the same time. A beautiful tale of how we live now." (Elizabeth Day) 

What listeners say about Such a Fun Age

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Performance was superb!

I wanted a light read, and this was definitely one of those. storyline was different and definitely enjoyable. there were parts which left me chuckling. voice performance and modulation was great. every character was voiced out very well.

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Excellent and adorable depiction

This remind the child hood age fun and experience in a fabulous style and also remind how youngsters make a fun of golarifiedand enjoy small parties

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Brilliant performance for a brilliant book

The book and narrator are both outstanding- it holds you and shows you many varied perspectives.

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  • H C FRASER-MACKENZIE
  • 23-02-20

Why did I waste my time?

This took so long to get going/ kept hoping it would improve but now realise there are hours of my life I will never get back.
Themes were promising but it’s juvenile and a boring listen.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 19-07-20

Excellent narration

Quite easily the best narration I have listened to. Nicole Lewis is genius. A great listen.

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  • Rochelle James
  • 21-03-20

Loved It

I really enjoyed this story. I listened it in its entirety without putting it down. I would have liked added voices, but the narrator did great. Wonder when we will see the movie on Netflix?

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Molooeee
  • 16-01-20

Fun, light but filled with deep meaning!

I loved this; I found the black women familiar, and I love how Reid explored the beauty and complexities of black female friendships.
This storyline is so smart: the exploration of the white/black paid services dynamic was so powerful!
Finally, the dialogue is so funny and well written!

8 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Tsundoko and Tea
  • 10-01-20

doesn't live up to the hype

Wow, I think I’m in the minority here having seen such good reviews! This was boring! I kept going expecting something to happen but it never really came!

Alix is a really intolerable woman! I ended thinking what an arsehole she was!!

Kelley was totally unbelievable as a 32-year-old man and if I ever met a man that acted and spoke like that when I was 25 I’d have been like ‘Thank you, next!’

The best thing about this book was the relationship between Emira and Briar and Emira and her fab girlfriends!

I totally get the intention of the book but it wasn’t entertaining as a novel

The narration was great though!

5 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • LucyB
  • 05-02-20

Really quite dull!

This has such great reviews, but it is a very dull story, nothing much happens, I dont get why people love it so?

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 18-04-20

Entertaining yet eye opening.

I learned a lot about cultural differences also I enjoyed the way narrator gave soul to characters.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Judimaxx
  • 13-01-20

Great read characters and story

Characters are not what you would expect and the story has a reasonabke voice. I got a little bored of the race comparisons and mummy /kid dialogue but simple story of coming of age and social expectation.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Marianne Thomson
  • 13-01-20

Couldn’t put it down

Excellent and totally absorbing. I finished the whole thing in 3 days and couldn’t put it down

2 people found this helpful

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  • L. Matthews
  • 11-01-20

Superb listen

Intelligent and intuitive, completely engaging. Must read. Excellent performance. Great characters. Well paced. Incredible debut.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Sarah H
  • 09-01-20

Brilliant

I started this book as soon as I received it and basically could not put it down. When I had to re-engage with my life I bought the Audible book so that I could continue reading when driving, working, cooking... you get the idea. It was harrowing and eye-opening at times, funny and warm, and shocking and thought-provoking.
The characters are likeable (most of the time) but at all times realistic and flawed. They all make poor decisions and all work from their own truth.
The main character, Emira needs all the help she can get in the adulting side of her life but her core is strong and likeable - you root for her and cheer for her.
Her relationship with the little Briar is testament to her warmth, she was born to be a teacher (my opinion).
Her relationship with Alix is odd from the start but that falls under Alix’s weirdness, not Emira - definite white privilege issues and it gets more and more apparent that Alix has big issues stemming from highschool.
Emira’s love interest Kelley plays into all the stereotypes and there are some moments of bliss and then the red flags come up. Honestly, I rooted for them, I am an idealist...
The summation is good and you get a neat and tidy ending after a tumultuous event filled book.
Side note: loved the flashback to Alix’s teenage days and her virginity story which included two of my favourite musical tracks by The Counting Crows - ’Colorblind’ and ’A Long December’ - such a great moment of nostalgia!

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Amber Geddes
  • 12-08-20

A book of two halves

This was such a strange book in some ways. Basically nothing at all happened for the first half of the book. It was so incredibly slow with so many descriptions given in minute detail. I nearly gave up several times but somehow the writing kept me going, just. Then about halfway through it finally started to have a plot and became fascinating. I got really hooked following it and kept thinking about the characters. I found it hard to relate to the characters for a long time as my life has nothing in common with either Amira's or Alix's. Amira's character eventually emerged but Alix's remained baffling - her obsessions with Amira and Kelly were just bizarre. But there were some really thought provoking ideas about race, and the relationship between Amira and Briar was beautifully described. I thought it was very well read apart from Briar's voice seeming rasping and unrealistic. Overall very glad in the end that I did stick it out through the first half to make it to the second!

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  • Chloe Campbell
  • 10-08-20

A bit fun but mainly boring

The narrator does a good job but the story is slightly boring. I didn't expect too much when I paid for it in the first place so i'm not surprised. It's alright to have on in the background

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  • cottagedweller
  • 23-01-20

Disappointing

I was considering returning this after a couple of hours & wouldn't have missed anything if I had. I spend life avoiding characters like Alix & disappointed to listen to anything like her character traits. A grown woman with a family still banging on about her high school boyfriend?!? Seriously. The child voice used was really, really annoying. Being Australian the story & racism storyline did not resonate at all with me.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Angell Harris
  • 31-01-20

Meh.

Really didn’t see what all the fuss was about. Characters layered, but story lacked any real punch or real feeling of narrative. Story was dull, quite pointless and while the social commentary was current and quite thoughtful, none of the characters inspired me to really care about them...

5 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Teapotwithabook
  • 28-01-20

An indescribable story

An indescribable story. The narrative was so enjoyable that it’s powerful undertones crept up on me like a kick in the guts. I found myself feeling mortified, defiant, elated then horrified all within the space of a few pages. It’s not hard to see why this story is so highly recommended.

4 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-04-20

An easy modern read with purpose

The lives of two women from different worlds reveal the subtleties of underlying racial prejudice in a modern American city.
Amira is 25, Alix is 32, both trying to find themselves. Each prides themselves on not being prejudice but inter-racial relationships prove more complex than either expected.
With engaging and likeable characters, you find yourself wondering who is to blame.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Chee Hock Wu
  • 01-06-20

Perfect for Jane Austen fans.

A novel of manners about interracial African American / White relationships with a millennial edge. The narrator, Nicole Lewis is spot on in bringing the characters to vivid life.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 25-05-20

Easy Reading , Lighthearted Entertainment

A fun,humorous and entertaining read.
Relatable characters (mostly) and an easy to follow storyline.

Nothing mind blowingly incredible, but an enjoyable quick read.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Florence Sheather
  • 22-04-20

Great

Different type of story and very enjoyable. Great narrator. The sort of book you want to keep reading - or listening to. Not predictable so more enjoyable.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Renee
  • 09-04-20

Brilliantly written; brilliantly read

This was such a great book. The characters are so well imagined, and three-dimensional, and messy, and complicated, and I found myself supporting different people at different points. And the issues around race are woven so seamlessly through the piece they never become preachy or didactic.

The narration was fabulous.

This is going into my list of top books of all time, and I'll definitely be rereading it!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 18-07-20

Loved it

My favourite book this year. so well written, very smart. Could not stop listening. The narrator was amazing, had every character down

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  • Tanya J King
  • 18-06-20

pitch perfect

Having been a nanny - well, an undocumented, live-in babysitter - in this part of the world, with just these kinds of people, I can say this book nails it. Although 'we' didn't call black people African American, 'we' whispered "she's the b.l. one", or something to that effect. And yep, I had a Briar, who I still love as a four-year-old, and would throw myself in front of a bus for, although I suspect I wouldn't like the woman she's probably grown into now. This book is intersectional in a way that will take me a long time to unpack. Stunning.
The audio performance. Wow. It's not a criticism to say I cringed listening to some of those patterns of speech and inflection. Excruciatingly on on point.