“The lesson being that in life you control what you can.”
Genre: Nonfiction, Memoir
Published: November 13, 2018
Rate: 3.5 ⭐⭐⭐
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.
I remember when Becoming first came out. It was all over bookstagram & book Twitter! My interest was piqued and I really, really wanted to get a copy but at the same time hesitant because overly hyped books tend to be a major disappointment, at least to me. Unfortunately, I wasn’t impressed and going by the number of times I fell asleep, almost DNFing and starting over 4 times, it didn’t live up to the hype.
“Your story is what you have, what you will always have. It is something to own.”
The book is dived into three parts; Becoming Me, Becoming Us and Becoming More. The first two are what I liked more. They felt more ‘normal’ and relatable and once I sat down to properly with the book, I enjoyed them. In these sections Michelle Obama opens about her upbringing, her childhood as she transitioned to adulthood and gives us what I would call behind the scenes of who she is. I found these parts are so engaging and well written. Michelle Obama gives as a look into her experiences, her career, friendship, relationship and her perception of life. This was such a treat because I got to see a part of her I never imagined. She writes in a subtle sense of humour, hearty and honest. I loved it! Michelle insists on the importance of education, making your own choices, standing by them and not letting doubts stop you from being your best self. It felt like a little pep talk as we go through life. Her relationship with Barack Obama is another focus in the book and it makes for an interesting read. Had me going ‘mmmmhhh’ and ‘aaaah’ all through.
Getting to part 3, Becoming More, is largely focused on the political life and drama. What was said and what actually happened. This section reads so technical & without feel at all. I was bored. As she was talking politics I expected more information but what I got was a glossed over version, that frankly I could have done without. In as much as Michelle is giving her side of the story, it all felt scripted and I wasn’t interested.
Michelle Obama tells her story the best way she knew, and I can see why people love it as much, but it didn’t work for me. The book was an okay read.
Have you read the book? What are your thoughts on it?