Book Review | Becoming by Michelle Obama

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (5/5)

A memoir by the former First Lady, Michelle Obama, Becoming takes us through Michelle’s childhood, relationship with Barack, and time in the White House. This is a book about so many things, including race, childhood, careers, love, family and more.

What struck me quite quickly as I was reading the first section of this book, the section about Michelle’s childhood and growing up, was Michelle’s style of writing and how much I liked it. This first section in particular had a narrative feeling that I enjoyed reading and learning some personal details about Michelle’s life was really interesting.

Michelle Obama is known worldwide, but that being said, I didn’t really know that much about her, especially as someone who has always lived in the UK and doesn’t know too much about US politics. To be given such an intimate portrayal of her life was really quite something, and I am grateful that she let us in to see more of her and to hear from herself about her life and experiences.

Although in many ways this is Michelle’s chance, now that Barack’s presidency is over, to tell her side of the story and to have her say, this is not Michelle asking for pity or starting fights. This book is open and honest, more so than I expected, and gives Michelle a chance to just tell her story in her own words through the form of a book.

It is Michelle’s honesty that really makes this book what it is. She lets us into her private thoughts and concerns throughout her life, as well as some really difficult times. On the flip side, we also get to see some greatness, such as what she achieved as First Lady and in her career before that, the love she has with Barack, and the family that they started together.

As I mentioned, I don’t know a lot about US politics and their political system, so I didn’t entirely understand some parts of this novel, such as Barack’s political career, but that was fine. What really mattered about this novel was seeing all of this from the perspective of Michelle, a wife, a mother, a woman, and a person trying to live her life. Michelle gives us a window into how Barack’s political career affected her life and their relationship too.

However, Michelle really did what she could to embrace the chances she had and the path that life took her on and reading about what she did as First Lady was really interesting. Her career prior to being First Lady was also great to learn about, and I could see how that shaped who she wanted to be within the White House and how her life up until that moment taught her how she wanted to be perceived and what she wanted her legacy as First Lady to be.

I read this book in October, so we were close to voting day for the US election and I feel that this book really gave me hope for that, as well as giving me more knowledge about what has happened in America over the past few years and a bit of background to the political system over there.

Overall, I loved learning more about Michelle and am so pleased that she decided to give us this insight into her life. Michelle is someone that I admire, especially after reading this book, and this book was thought-provoking and hopeful and I recommend that you give it a read.

G x


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