In Every Mirror She's Black Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
A timely and arresting debut novel about what it means to be a Black woman in the world. Perfect for fans of Queenie and Americanah.
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 20s, she had a taste of that privilege. Now pushing 40, 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.
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|Listening Length||12 hours and 12 minutes|
|Author||Lola Akinmade Akerstrom|
|Narrator||Rosemarie Akwafo, Sara Powell|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com.au Release Date||04 November 2021|
|Publisher||W. F. Howes Ltd.|
|Best Sellers Rank|| 50,498 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
308 in Black & African American Women's Fiction (Books)
16,015 in Literature & Fiction (Audible Books & Originals)
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Top reviews from other countries
Kemi is a marketing executive who desires change in her life. She is offered a new job in Sweden with plenty of incentives and so relocates there from the USA. Yet will her life experience be different there?
Brittany-Rae was a model in her 20s, though now in her late 30s is working as a flight attendant. As she interacts with the super-rich she envies their privilege. She then has the opportunity to enter that world through her relationship with a wealthy Swedish man. It seems to be the answer to her dreams but at what price?
Somalian refugee Muna has been granted asylum in Sweden following a treacherous journey during which members of her family died. She is struggling to adjust. Will she ever feel that she belongs?
Businessman Jonny Von Lundin features in each of these women’s lives. He hires Kemi for his Stockholm based Marketing company to bring more diversity and inclusion to its campaigns; he courts Brittany-Rae, and Muna is initially housed in a hostel funded by Jonny and later works as a cleaner at Von Lundin Marketing.
So each of these three women are in search of a new start and find themselves in Stockholm, a city that prides itself on its egalitarianism and openness. However, they find instead silent racism, fetishisation and tokenism – and another society that seeks to put them in a box.
While there is the link of Jonny and his company the author keeps her three protagonists apart except for brief interactions. She writes that this was “my goal of presenting each of them as individuals and not the bearers of a nonexistent homogenous Black culture.”
The novel includes a conversation with the author about the novel and a reading group guide. I do feel that this is a novel likely to appeal to book groups given its accessibility and the scope for discussion.
With respect to the audiobook, Sara Powell and Rosemarie Akwafo were both excellent readers, bringing the characters of the novel vividly to life. This was my first audiobook experience of both actors, though I was aware of Sara Powell’s television work. Her voice is very rich and mature. While this was Rosemarie Akwafo’s first audiobook project, I was impressed by the beauty and clarity of her voice. I felt that both did well with the accents required by the narrative.
I was pleased that the audiobook edition included the author’s note and the important message about the availability of support groups.
Overall, I felt that ‘In Every Mirror She’s Black’ was a fantastic debut. It held my attention throughout and was well written and thought-provoking.
My negative feelings about this book may have been strengthened by the fact that I'm really not very interested in business dealings and competitiveness in offices.
I was more interested in the prejudice shown against the black women but annoyed by the repetition. On the other hand, I couldn't help sympathizing with Kemi's dress problem while at the same time getting bored with endless descriptions of clothing and lip gloss colours.
I guess this book would be fine for some people but not for me.
It touched on isolation (especially amongst refugees), loneliness, sexism, fetishism, love, infatuation, racism, ... This book is very layered and I'm still reeling.
It also touched on loss, grief, ... The ending really shookkk me.
I really appreciated the cultural insights that carried the story so well, often more than some of the strange twists and turns of events.
The book may focus on black women, yet I felt it spoke more about seeing everyone as individuals, not as a stereotype of who they seem to be.