Cover Image: In Every Mirror She's Black

In Every Mirror She's Black

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In Every Mirror She's Black is a beautiful read. It tells the very different stories of three women all who individually have their own things going on. It really highlights how peoples differences make them unique and everyone should be celebrated for who they are.
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Got mixed feelings on this one.  Loved the insight into Sweden's homogeneity, micro aggressions in everyday life,  racism at home and abroad and prejudice in all its forms that affected the three protagonists in this novel.  However the execution let it down. I couldn't get my head around these women and their choices. I get that you can make poor choices, followed by doubling down, until you've reached the stage of sunk-cost fallacy and common sense is out the window.  

There are important themes here, and events and dialogue that made me think, unfortunately outweighed by the crass undeveloped characterisation of these black women and their focus on white men.  Despite all said, I did enjoy this book, my disappointment is more because I expected to love it. 

My thanks to Netgalley for a copy of this eArc.
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In every mirror she's black follows the life experiences of three black women from dramatically different backgrounds, but who are treated superficially the same due to the colour of their skin and the expectations of their sexuality.
All three women take life changing decisions to alter the course of their lives in the hope of advancement. However, Akerstrom deftly recreates a world that still primarily bases assumptions on first appearances. These women are flawed human beings struggling to decipher what they want out of life for themselves and this allows for a more complete depiction of what could have been a stereotypical point of view. Ultimately this book is about belonging - to others, to society and fundamentally to yourself.
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Intertwining stories that had me turning the page. I really enjoyed the exploration of culture throughout this book, particularly the nuanced ways Black characters had to balance their history in Sweden. Åkerström successfully delves into each character’s battle with their own identity in this society, whilst linking it with interesting encounters and actions which keep the reader hooked.

The white man as a pivotal protagonist is a great symbol of the main theme; the prejudice that seeps throughout Europe and particularly into the lives of Åkerström‘s characters. Although a dislikable character, Jonny is a clever tool used to compare the contrast in the treatment of people who are seen as ‘different’ depending on their skin colour and their class status. I loved the conclusive ending and getting to see all three women reach the end of their journey.
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Kemi is ready to change her life. She's sick of being second-guessed in the boardroom; tired of smiling politely while men gaze at her body; bored of dating surveys that tell her Black African women are the least desired in America. Moving across the world, for a new job, certainly things will be different?

Brittany-Rae is tired of serving others. She's determined not to struggle like her parents did. As a flight attendant, she's seen the way the super-wealthy float, untouchable and easy, and she envies it. As a model in her twenties, she had a taste of that privilege. Now pushing forty, she knows that to have one kind of freedom, she must sacrifice another.

Muna began her treacherous journey two years ago. Then, she was a family of three. Now her mother and younger brother are buried somewhere at the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea. She's been granted asylum, but she can't shake the feeling that she will never belong. When your only family is a stack of passport photos, it's hard to grow new roots.

In search of escape, these three women find themselves in Stockholm, a city that prides itself on being egalitarian and open. Instead of a fresh new start, they find the same problems just wear a different name.

Such moving complex characters the book looks at racism and how the characters fit into society. Three women not know to each other but through the book they are united in  culture , love and privilege… It is an eye opening book which is an enjoyable one !
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What a wonderful book, well written, engaging and thought-provoking, I thoroughly enjoyed this.

The three main characters, Kemi, Brittany and Muna are all black women who for a variety of reasons are living in Sweden. They are well-drawn and develop throughout the book, drawing the reader into their lives, all of which are quite different. 

The plot is well-crafted and thoroughly engaging, which meant that I found it hard to put the book down. 

There is a great sense of place and I enjoyed experiencing their lives in Sweden. 

I loved this book, and was compelled to buy a physical copy because of both the affection I have for the book and the beautiful cover.

Thank you to NetGalley and Apollo publishers for an ARC.
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I really really wanted to enjoy this, but I could finsih it. The writing wasn't great and I just wasn't drawn into the sorry at all. I found the protagonists didn't receive the same attention from the author, it felt really disjointed. Sorry!
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Three Black women are linked in unexpected ways to the same influential white man in Stockholm as they build their new lives in the most open society run by the most private people.

I had incredibly high expectations for this novel - but it fell short for me 😬

It tried to tackle too many things at once - which meant they all fell kinda short and didn't have enough space.

The three characters do not receive equal attention, which makes the novel feel very uneven. They don't show any development at all - they just all fall flat for me 

The worst thing was the writing though. It's too rushed and reads almost like the script for a soap opera 

There's loads to unpack in this novel - would make for a great book club read
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Excellent inspiring read.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for letting me access an advance copy of this book in exchange for my feedback.
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Three women from completely different backgrounds end up in Sweden, Kemi - the high flying career woman looking to shake up her life, Brittany-Rae - model turned air hostess with a seemingly happy life and Muni - a refugee who is looking for a better life. The only thing they have in common is the colour of their skin but their lives cross in unexpected ways. I felt for both Kemi and Muni, but struggled with Brittany-Rae.

The ending comes as a surprise and I highly recommend reading this novel.

I was given a copy of In Every Mirror She's Black by NetGalley and the publishers in return for an unbiased review.
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I had high hopes for this novel, unfortunately I decided to abandon it part way through.  I really hate not finishing books but sometimes, if you are not getting anything out of the read, it is the only thing to do.  I found the writing to be quite poor and rather repetitious, and I found that I really couldn’t care less about these women.  What should have been an engaging, intense and informative novel, for me personally turned out to be no such thing.
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This book came out a little on the uneven side for me. I found the concept of the intersecting lives of these three black women really intriguing, especially against the backdrop of life in Sweden. Knowing people who have experieced both jarring cultural difference and racism in Sweden, I was interested to see how being there impacts these characters. 

That said, I didn't find the viewpoints to be evenly spread and the characterisation felt pretty surface level. Kemi in particular feels like a similar type of characters that's popped up in tons of books I've read this year without all that much to individualise her. This might be coming from me reading a lot of books in this style recently with similar tropes so I'm a bit oversaturated from it. 

Certainly the writing style was great, in particularly the pacing and flow. The setting and experiences are thought provoking and often infuritating, I'm sure it will speak to many people and get others thinking. This one came in at fairly neutral all things considered but I'd definitely read something else by the author in the future.
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The blurb of this book sounded good, and the book itself held my interest for a while. It is told from the perspective of three black women going/fleeing to Sweden and their lives, relationships and the racism there. I understood the author´s intent to show them with all their faults, but not Brittany´s intents in regard to the seemingly creepy Jonny. Kemi seemed too little confident in her job, and Muna would deserve more interest in her cruel story. The author tried to put too much into one book, and in the middle it dragged, and I thought it wouldn´t develop in any way. Towards the end it picked up pace only to end quite sadly for at least a part of the characters.
Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for an ARC ebook in exchange for an honest review.
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Thanks to NetGalley and The Publisher for this eARC in exchange for an honest review.

I thoroughly recommend this book. There is so much going on in this book - layers on layers. The careful but subtle interweaving of the three stories holds it together as a novels rather than three separate narratives is brilliantly executed. The Swedish setting adds to the brilliance in my opinion as the country is familiar to many for many things such as Scandi noir, Ikea, happiest people in the world, but are not a nation that first comes to mind when thinking of racism (in the UK at least). But racism is just one of many important themes explored in this book, that black women the world over have to navigate on a daily basis. 

I think this will also make a fantastic book for book clubs - the discussions will be great.
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3.5 ⭐️ This novel explores the lives of 3 black women from different backgrounds and nationalities as they try to make a life for themselves in Sweden.  Themes of racism, immigration, misogyny, tokenism and the fetishisation of black women are explored in the novel.

I found this book quite frustrating because I loved the first third of it, where I found that each of the 3 characters had a clear voice and storyline. Unfortunately, for me, the story then dipped hugely. 

Brittany seemed very 2-dimensional and I found it hard to sympathise with her character. Constant repetition of Jonny ‘learning what she liked’ led to a lot of eye rolling from me.  Since he was very heavy handedly depicted as being on the spectrum - something she seemed cognisant of from the way she treated him - it’s hard to sympathise with her too much.  It felt that she pretty much knew what she was walking into before the wedding and then ‘poor me’d’ a lot. She had agency, she just needed to tell Jonny what she wanted.

Kemi seemed to transform from a kick-ass executive who was yet to find love in the US, to something entirely different in Sweden, very quickly.  I didn’t understand why someone of her calibre and confidence wouldn’t have been looking to set something of her own up in the US.  I understand how difficult it is trying to transfer to a job in a country and continent with a different language and mindset, having been through it myself but the Mills and Boon turn her story arc took and lots of nothing happening at work, again made me lose interest.  I’m also never very keen on women harshly judging other women (which readers of this might find ironic 😜) and she was so rude to Brittany for no real reason.  I am also unconvinced that a man who built up and runs the world’s largest marketing agency is never in the office/working.

Muna was by far the most compelling and sympathetic of the 3 characters and her story was heartbreaking and sadly, not uncommon, though quite extreme.  

I was so excited to read this and it seems such a shame that we never seemed to really get deeply into the psychology of 2 of the 3 main characters.  There is a really good book in here but I just didn’t feel that this was the final edit.

With thanks to NetGalley and the publisher, Head of Zeus for an arc of this novel in exchange for an honest review.
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Åkerström’s writing is fluid, easy to follow and vivid in its description; each of the characters leapt off the page. Each character was well developed and had their own complexities; the writing of Johan in particular - someone who you never totally trusted - had a particularly satisfying conclusion. I absolutely adored this book.
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In the wonderful “In Every Mirror She's Black”, we follow the interconnected stories of three Black women, Kemi, Brittany-Rae, and Muna, upon their arrival in Stockholm. They are all very different women, with different nationalities and backgrounds, but their experiences (all indirectly linked via their connection the enigmatic Swede Jonny) in their new country reveal common themes, all of which are handled with incredible care and skill by the author.

I really liked these women, and the characters around them are also very well drawn. There is an almost brutal honesty to the way in which their shared feelings of isolation and separateness are portrayed, and the result is a very insightful and memorable story.

The pacing is just right, and the author writes with an ease that allows the complexities of the story to come through without feeling heavy-handed. I would certainly read more by this author.

My thanks to the author, NetGalley, and the publisher for the arc to review.
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Ok wow, I adored this book. I loved the three characters we got to read about, Kemi, Brittany-Rae and Muna and how their lives all changed and adapted over the course of the book. All three from very different backgrounds and circumstances but they related to each other in different ways. 

I really enjoyed reading this book, I enjoyed the story, I enjoyed learning about the issues these women faced a lot throughout the book and their experiences of cultural diversity in Sweden, which I found very interesting.

This is definitely one of my favourite books I’ve read this year.

Thank you @headofzeus and @ineverymirror for the opportunity to be on this book tour for such a brilliant book!
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A really powerful read. 
Three black woken who are all trying to make a new life for themselves in Sweden.  Trying to thrive, dépité the relentless racism, sexism and classism they continue to face, in a society that is welcoming on the surface…. But on its terms.
The three separate stories are all linked through one man… Jonny con Lundin… the CEO Of one of Sweden’s leading companies.  For Muna he is a key benefactor to the asylum centre where she first lives when arriving in Sweden as a refuge. For Kemi he is her boss… who has headhunted her from the US to head up diversity and inclusion in his firm. For Brittany he is the man who has swept her off her feet and fallen in love with her.  
All women arrive with the dream of a better life…. But is it? And are they still encountering the same problems black womenswear continue to face across the globe. 
This novel deliberately highlights the way in which there is a tendency to group all “black issues” as one, and brings such great nuance to the discussion. Powerfully delivered, and a good read.
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"Three Black women are linked in unexpected ways to the same influential white man in Stockholm as they build their new lives in the most open society run by the most private people."

In Every Mirror She's Black tells the story of three Black women and their lives in Sweden, revolving around the same mysterious businessman known as Jonny von Lundin. Brittany-Rae is entranced by this man and hesitantly falls for him, Kemi is drawn by all that his company in Sweden has to offer, and innocent Muna- a Muslim Somalian refugee- seeks a new life only knowing Jonny as her sole benefactor.

This book was written so well. The author discusses racism, tokenism, sexism and fetishization and how they play a role in each of the three women's lives. It jumped from one POV to the next and I wasn't bored for a second. There were times where I had to pause and digest certain scenes- I felt disgusted and sad reading about how hard it was being a Black woman and adjusting to a misogynistic and racist society. There was a constant feeling of dread brewing in me the more and more I read, and that ending was really upsetting.

As well as privilege, love and race, this book also highlights different types of grief; losing your family, partner and sense of freedom, that made this such a fantastic read. Each woman was distinct- they had their own battles and I found it intriguing how they were written as individuals and as a result they never developed a solid connection with each other. I was intrigued to find out how their stories ended despite not being able to support each other.

There are so many layers in this book and so many great discussion points. The blatant fetishization of Black women is a topic I haven't read about before, and it really makes you think about the society you live in and how toxic it can be. In Every Mirror She's Black is a book that will play on your mind constantly. I urge everyone to read it if you're looking for a multiple POV book that is compelling and will leave your heart heavy.

Thank you so much to the publishers and netgalley for an arc to review!
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