Late one night, Emira Tucker, the 25-year-old black baby sitter for Alix Chamberlain, a wealthy white blogger and minor social media celebrity is stopped by the security guard at an upmarket grocery shop and accused of kidnapping her charge two year old Briar. Kiley Reid develops the narrative of her debut novel around this scenario, while at the same time exploring the impact of social media, racism, diversity, gender and class.
This domestic drama is told from the alternative perspectives of the main protagonists Emira and Alix, with an undercurrent of misinterpretations, anxiety and embarrassment. Their opposing backgrounds add some depth to the storyline. However, Emira’s relationship with her 2 year old charge does add a sensitive human element to the otherwise superficial relationships between the other characters.
The author has definitely captured the era where the ‘mobile phone is king’; younger adult readers will identify with the dialog and text messages with minor characters which also drive this narrative. Older readers, however may have difficulty relating to some of the interchanges between characters.
Book Clubs with a diverse range of members may find this an ideal novel to discuss the issues of race, gender, social media and the social implications of mobile phones.