Becoming – Book Review

Book Rating: ★★★★☆ (4.5 / 5 stars)

Michelle Obama captured millions as she entered the world stage as President Barack Obama’s wife and the First Lady of the United States. But there is so much more to her than just that: she is an accomplished career woman, inspirational mother, and a determined leader. In these roles, Michelle Obama instills a single the lesson throughout her memoir: we must be ready to change and evolve. We are all always “becoming” something and dwelling on the past will do little to alter the future.

In this reflective memoir that guides us through Michelle’s early life, to her role alongside the 44th President of the United States, we see how the choices earlier on shaped her future. Most often than not, it’s our family that guides our decisions early in life, whether it is what we want or not. But life throws curveballs and the grand plan we often set out for ourselves never entirely works.

This is true for even a well-off career woman turned into the First Lady of the United States. Thrown into the public eye, we witness the stressors placed on constant attention, and the issues Michelle, and her husband, both had to weigh while raising their daughters and fulfilling their own dreams. Life is a journey, after all, of becoming: me, us, and more – as the sections are aptly named. Sometimes when we see these political figures, we forget what led to their positions in the White House, Senate, or elsewhere in the government. They’re human, even if they do live in their own bubble.

There’s a certain grace that comes with reading about the Obamas. Michelle Obama treated her role and country with dignity, just as she handled each part of her story with grace and honesty. She doesn’t spend her pages belittling the newcomer in the White House, despite a clear distaste towards his politics, instead focusing on what she did and her accomplishments. It’s something often missed in politics.

But then again, Michelle Obama is not a politician.

While I was completely enamored by her story, the only reason I am not giving this 5 stars is due to the length of time it took for me to read this book. A 5 star read, for me, is one I can’t put down. To be frank, I put this one down for long lengths of time, before picking it up again.

But Michelle Obama is an inspiration to many, including me. I think there are some many women of color (or just women in general) who see her and think “I want to be like her one day”. She’s braved adversaries, kept her head high, and most importantly…was an asset in her husband’s message for change.

What’s it about?

In a life filled with meaning and accomplishment, Michelle Obama has emerged as one of the most iconic and compelling women of our era. As First Lady of the United States of America—the first African American to serve in that role—she helped create the most welcoming and inclusive White House in history, while also establishing herself as a powerful advocate for women and girls in the U.S. and around the world, dramatically changing the ways that families pursue healthier and more active lives, and standing with her husband as he led America through some of its most harrowing moments. Along the way, she showed us a few dance moves, crushed Carpool Karaoke, and raised two down-to-earth daughters under an unforgiving media glare.
In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her—from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world’s most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it—in her own words and on her own terms. Warm, wise, and revelatory, Becoming is the deeply personal reckoning of a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations—and whose story inspires us to do the same.

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