Hmmm…. I wasn’t impressed by the hype so I delayed on reading this one. Silly woman (me)! The book actually lives up to the hype and maybe surpasses it. It’s a memoir, not a confessional, certainly the honest portrayal of a very real woman who lived a rather extraordinary life.
Michelle Robinson Obama moved from her beginnings in a regular African American family situation on the south side of Chicago through an Ivy League education and high stakes legal work to marriage, children, and then more fulfilling employment. Along with the latter and afterwards she moved on with her husband to politics and the campaign trail, finally ending up at the White House when her husband became the first African American President of the United States.
Becoming ~ by Michelle Obama
2018 / 428 pages
read by Michelle Obama – 19h 3m
rating 10 / memoir
Yup – I was impressed by everything from the clarity and flow of the wordsmithery to the thoughtfulness and honesty of the narrative. Even her reading voice is well done (although her Chicago accent does come through at times).
Make no mistake, this is Michelle’s story. It’s not Barack’s except tangentially. They fell in love and were married and had children. Although she was reluctant, she knew he had something important to contribute to the country so it was her job to stand by him as he rose one rung at a time in quick order to take the highest office in the land and then be succeeded by the next elected. This is the story of her struggles, not his.
As I read (listened) through the chapters I learned of her upbringing and her drive to succeed from an early age – to be “good enough.” I learned of her love for her family, her husband, her children and her friends. Her deep desire to be a good wife, mother and friend without losing her individuality, herself, in the process. Mostly I learned of her struggles with herself as well as with others.
It’s a long book and toward the end it seemed to drag a bit sometimes with the details of Barack Obama’s terms in office and again when Michelle seems to get a bit preachy. But even then it regularly picks up again pretty quickly. For the most part I was charmed or touched and there was one place I actually laughed out loud and the book is not generally funny.
Bottom line – highly recommended!