In Every Mirror She’s Black by Lola Akinmade Åkerström
Lola Akinmade Åkerström’s novel In Every Mirror She’s Black is about three very different black women facing some very similar problems in a foreign country that doesn’t seem to want to recognize their worth.
In Every Mirror She’s Black deals with a lot of different issues, such as racism, fetishism and the struggles of living on the spectrum. The characters are very complex and engaging. The three women are (at the beginning) unknowingly connected to each other through the same Swedish man, Johann von Lundin. Kemi is Nigerian-American businesswoman, Brittany-Rae is an ex-model turned stewardess, and Muna is a refugee running from her past.
I found Kemi’s character the most relatable. While she had a couple of self-esteem issues, she was also a very smart, very independent and confident woman who knew exactly who she was and what she was worth. It is exactly this self-worth that is put into question at her new firm in Sweden. What I really liked about her was that, despite her social isolation at the beginning and the firm’s tireless attempts at stripping away her role as a decision-maker, she stays the same. She is a confident woman at the beginning of the novel, and she walks out a confident woman at the end of the novel.
While Kemi’s character was the most relatable, Muna’s was the most interesting and most heartbreaking. She is an eighteen year old Somali refugee who desperately wants to have a family, to have someone to call her own. She is incredibly strong but she doesn’t know it, and with every loss she loses a little bit of herself. I don’t want to spoil the ending for you, so I won’t say more.
Brittany-Rae was the most annoying of the three, if you ask me. I struggled to understand her motivations and felt like she exaggerated in her relationship with Jonny many times. Her desire to be pampered was something that I just couldn’t relate to. Ultimately, I felt like she gave herself up completely in order to become this spoiled princess who is not much more than a trophy in her husband’s collection.
Jonny’s character is one the most complex ones. We only see him through the three women’s eyes (mostly through Brittany’s), and yet his personality captivates the reader from beginning to end. The way he gets Brittany to go out with him is borderline sociopathic and I honestly couldn’t understand why Brittany would continue dating him. As the novel progresses, we see more and more of his little quirks and it becomes quite obvious that he is struggling with some form of autism. This, of course is not an excuse to some of his disturbing behaviours but it sure explains a lot of things.
In Every Mirror She’s Black was an OK read. At certain points, however, I felt like that writer wanted to encapsulate so many different themes that it was hard for me to decipher what exactly the message of the novel was. Or maybe there wasn’t one. In any case, Lola Akinmade Åkerström’s In Every Mirror She’s Black gets a Four Fox rating from me, mainly for Muna’s lovable and misunderstood character.🦊 🦊 🦊 🦊
Why do you think the writer chose not to connect the three main characters in a more meaningful way?
Who was your favorite and why?
Can you relate to Brittany’s decision to date a man in order to get the best things in life?
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As always, thank you for reading! 💙