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All booksContemporary fictionIn Every Mirror She's Black
In Every Mirror She's Black by Lolá Ákínmádé Åkerström
Contemporary fiction

In Every Mirror She's Black

Debut
We love supporting debut authors. Congrats, Lolá Ákínmádé Åkerström, on your first book!

by Lolá Ákínmádé Åkerström

Quick take

This absorbing debut turns a mirror on modern-day Sweden to reveal the ins and outs of life for three Black women.

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_400

    400+ pages

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_MultipleNarrators

    Multiple viewpoints

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Tech

    Tech world

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Immigration

    Immigration

Illustrated icon, Icon_Challenging_Indicator

FYI

This book contains scenes that depict suicide and abuse.

Why I love it

Kathy Wang
Author, Impostor Syndrome

My favorite novels always begin with the characters. Are they memorable and believable, can I hope and laugh with them, do they teach me something new? Of course, I'd like an interesting plot, realistic dialogue, beautiful sentences, but I'll forgive the lack of any of these for strong characters. What an absolute gift then, that in In Every Mirror She’s Black we don't lack for anything at all.

There are three protagonists in the novel: Brittany, a former model turned flight attendant; Muna, a refugee originally from Somalia; and Kemi, a Nigerian American marketing executive. All three are Black women, who have or will be making their way to Sweden from someplace else. And all three are connected via a fourth character, Jonny von Lundin, a wealthy business owner.

This is a book with scope. You follow these women over multiple years; you see them struggle with their careers, their love lives. You watch them adjust to Swedish society, and encounter both classism and racism, which take the form of incidents that run the gamut from creepily subtle to hideously direct. And it is clear from the start that these are three distinct women—their individual journeys deftly illustrating the simple truth that Black women and their experiences are not a monolith. Brittany, Kemi, and Muna have very different values. They make different decisions and different mistakes.

I left this book having been moved, educated, and entertained. It is thrilling, disturbing, mysterious, sexy, and above all, complex. Brittany, Kemi, and Muna will live in my head for a long time, and I don't think you could ask for anything more from a novel.

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Synopsis

Successful marketing executive Kemi Adeyemi is lured from the U.S. to Sweden by Jonny von Lundin, CEO of the nation's largest marketing firm, to help fix a PR fiasco involving a racially tone-deaf campaign. A killer at work but a failure in love, Kemi's move is a last-ditch effort to reclaim her social life.

A chance meeting with Jonny in business class en route to the U.S. propels former model-turned-flight-attendant Brittany-Rae Johnson into a life of wealth, luxury, and privilege—a life she's not sure she wants—as the object of his unhealthy obsession.

And refugee Muna Saheed, who lost her entire family, finds a job cleaning the toilets at Jonny's office as she works to establish her residency in Sweden and, more importantly, seeks connection and a place she can call home.

Told through the perspectives of each of the three women, In Every Mirror She's Black is a fast-paced, richly nuanced yet accessible contemporary novel that touches on important social issues of racism, classism, fetishization, and tokenism, and what it means to be a Black woman navigating a white-dominated society.

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Preview

Get an early look from the first pages of In Every Mirror She's Black.

Member thoughts

All (23)
All (23)
Love (9)
Like (14)
Dislike (0)
23 ratings
  • 39% Love
  • 61% Like
  • 0% Dislike
  • Moscow, ID

  • Hoboken, NJ

  • Murfreesboro, TN

  • Racine , WI

  • Cape Coral, FL

  • Ashland , OH

    I was invested in each character equally & felt for each of them through their struggles. Provocative, timely, and beautifully written. The ending wasn’t what I expected and I loved it for that reason

  • PHILADELPHIA, PA

    I enjoyed getting a peek into Swedish culture, specifically the climate of racism in the country, but the lack of character development left me feeling disconnected and ultimately disappointed.

  • Abilene , TX

  • Las Vegas, NV

  • Chicago, IL

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