Book Review: Becoming by Michelle Obama
Published by: Crown Publishing
Genre: Non-Fiction, Autobiography, Memoir, Biography
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 do not think I find myself qualified enough to rate this phenomenal work (I won’t just say a ‘book’)! It made me feel like I was watching her living her life, with utmost passion and zeal to work and do something better every day of her life.
Before I read Becoming, I knew Michelle Obama as a Former First Lady of The United States (FLOTUS) only, doing some or the other kinds of stuff like every other human being who would be liable to do with such a post. But this was just an awesome piece of work. It’s nothing but honest and provides many fascinating insights into her life.
It’s divided very beautifully into 3 parts:
– Becoming Me (her life before meeting Barack Obama)
– Becoming Us (her life as an after she met Barack Obama)
– Becoming More (her life after becoming The First Lady)
I loved the writing, the perfect use of words at every point and the way she opened herself with this. With every chapter, she gave a peek into her privacy, into her life as she was growing up, as she got into a relationship with Barack Obama, as she entered motherhood, as she supported and stood by her husband during his campaigns (with all fears and panics) and as she became FLOTUS.
She is just like us, a girl born into a middle-class family, with few desires and wishes. But as life unfolded in front of her, she found herself strong and competent. She is so honest about her past life, her thoughts, her fears, the present life, the beginnings from here on. With every chapter, she has only seeded feelings of confidence and being honest to oneself.
Today, maybe she is nothing she had imagined herself to be more than a decade ago. She is much more than anyone could have thought. But still she is humble, grounded and grateful for whatever she has done, she has achieved and plans to do further in her ‘larger than life’ present.
This is an amalgam of all the extraordinary works done by an ordinary human being while becoming an idol for many.
This will surely be my best read for 2019 for as long as possible!
Also, with this book, I plan to start my journey with memoirs and autobiography books as well.
Next in line is The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank and Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg