Everything Is Not Enough by Lola Akinmade Akerstrom

Lola Akinmade Åkerström's Everything Is Not Enough intricately weaves the lives of Kemi, Brittany, and Yasmiin, exploring themes of prejudice and patriarchy in Sweden. 

Everything Is Not Enough by Lola Akinmade Akerstrom

Everything Is Not Enough, the highly anticipated sequel to Lola Akinmade Akerstrom's In Every Mirror She's Black, delves into the ongoing lives of Kemi, Brittany, and Yasmiin.  Nigerian-America Kemi Adeymi, a successful marketing executive, faces a dilemma as she seeks to maintain her relationship with Tobias, who opposes moving to the US for her sake, potentially risking her career in the process. Meanwhile, former model and flight attendant Brittany Rae von Lundin navigates unforeseen challenges in her divorce in Sweden, worrying about her and her child's future. Brittany gave up her career to join her powerful and wealthy husband Jonny’s empire. On the other hand, Yasmiin, who fled to Sweden for a fresh start, finds love with Yagiz Çelik while pursuing her dream of becoming a makeup artist, but unexpected responsibilities force her to confront her past before she’s ready.

Everything Is Not Enough proves to be a compelling follow-up. Akerstrom’s writing vividly brings to life the intricate emotions and relatable experiences of Kemi, Brittany, and Yasmiin, drawing readers into their individual struggles and triumphs. Most commendable is the way in which Akerstrom masterfully empowers these women beyond the limitations of victimhood portrayed in the previous book. Here, each woman is shown to be a resilient individual navigating life's complexities. Kemi, Brittany, and Yasmiin reclaim their power and emerge as survivors in their own right, with each woman beginning to carve her own life. Furthermore, the continuation of the narrative style from the first book, with each woman narrating her own story, offers an intimate and deep insight into all three women’s lives. In turn, this fosters a deep connection between the characters and the reader.

Additionally, the sequel expands on the themes and commentary present in the first novel, particularly highlighting the experiences of Black women navigating the predominantly white and homogeneous Swedish culture. The portrayal of the treatment of these women in Swedish society was truly eye-opening, with each woman facing blatant racism in their everyday lives. The convergence of the three viewpoints reflects the reality that individuals of colour from diverse backgrounds and social classes are often treated as one and the same. 

Ultimately, Everything Is Not Enough is a compelling narrative that resonates with authenticity, offering a powerful examination of Swedish society. 


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