'Essential. This year's hit debut' - Guardian
'A biting tale of race and class' - Sunday Times
'I couldn't put this down' - Jojo Moyes
The instant Sunday Times and New York Times bestseller
Longlisted for the Booker Prize
A Times, Guardian, Sunday Times, Telegraph, Mail on Sunday, Red, Good Housekeeping and Cosmopolitan Book of the Year
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.
'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
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Kiley Reid’s striking voice as a novelist is so easy to read that it was only once we’d devoured her debut that the depths of her two female leads really sunk in. Emira is a young Black babysitter who, when caring for two-year-old Briar, is accused of kidnapping the toddler. The nuanced story that follows is an extraordinary examination of the connections between Emira and her privileged employer, Alix. What begins as a transactional relationship quickly becomes more complicated. Reid doesn’t hold back from confronting difficult topics and led us to take in the consequences of doing the right thing for the wrong reasons.
In her debut, Reid crafts a nuanced portrait of a young black woman struggling to define herself apart from the white people in her life who are all too ready to speak and act on her behalf. Emira Tucker knows that the one thing she's unequivocally good at is taking care of children, specifically the two young daughters, Briar and Catherine, of her part-time employer, Alix Chamberlain. However, about to turn 26 and lose her parents' health insurance, and while watching her friends snatch up serious boyfriends and enviable promotions, Temple grad Emira starts to feel ashamed about "still" babysitting. This humiliation is stoked after she's harassed by security personnel at an upscale Philadelphia grocery store where she'd taken three-year-old Briar. Emira later develops a romantic relationship with Kelley, the young white man who captured cellphone video of the altercation, only to discover that Kelley and Alix have a shared and uncomfortable past, one that traps Emira in the middle despite assertions that everyone has her best interests at heart. Reid excels at depicting subtle variations and manifestations of self-doubt, and astutely illustrates how, when coupled with unrecognized white privilege, this emotional and professional insecurity can result in unintended as well as willfully unseen consequences. This is an impressive, memorable first outing.
Story went nowhere
Not a fan. Kept waiting for something to happen. I disliked Alix, one the main characters, and was disappointed with the ending. A let down for me.