An intimate, powerful, and inspiring memoir by the former First Lady of the United States.
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.
Becoming is the life of Michelle Obama as she transcends from one phase of her life to another, on a journey to becoming her better self. As a daughter, a sister, a lawyer, a wife, a mother, and the first African-American First Lady, she witnesses diverse experiences and juggles multiple responsibilities.
Michelle Obama openly speaks about being a part of the minority. Being black and a woman is often a reason enough to be oppressed. However, Michelle Obama is never distracted from her focus to do good for others.
She takes you on the journey of her life and makes you the direct witness of the insider story. She talks about her childhood, her work-life as a lawyer, meeting and falling in love with Barrack Obama, and finally adjusting and making the best use of her life at the White House. She doesn’t shy away from making some brutally honest remarks about fellow politicians and their spouses.
In the latter half of the book, we get to witness the life of Barrack Obama as well. ‘Becoming’ paints the picture of Michelle and Barrack Obama in bright white light, of Barrack more than Michelle. It hardly ever feels that the two can ever do anything wrong (in a political sense), even if it’s a mistake. The worst of the two we can see is only in their personal lives, with regards to judgments about each other and Barrack’s lack of availability for the family.
We are also introduced to Michelle Obama’s daughters, friends, family members, and colleagues who support her and Barrack Obama unconditionally, being there through the thicks and thins of their lives.
The book is more of a factual description than an emotional conversation. All the moments—happy or sad, exciting or angry—are presented matter-of-factly, staying away from any kind of drama.
I loved how the book flowed from one moment of her life to another. Each scene weaves together neatly forming this beautiful story, which is Michelle’s life.
I listened to the 19 hours of the audiobook (narrated by Michelle Obama herself) over a few weeks of my morning walks. And I am glad I decided to pick the audiobook instead of a physical copy. I am sure I would have left this book a few chapters into it. Not that this book is particularly boring, but being a memoir you don’t expect it to hook you. There is no incentive to keep going other than the fact that you want to read it. So, the audiobook seemed like the perfect reading experience.
I would recommend you to read this 400+ pages book only if US politics or memoirs of popular people interest you.