Crown Publishing Group
Release Date: November 13, 2018
My Rating: 🍪🍪🍪🍪🍪
Where do I even begin with this book? To say that the former First Lady is an inspiration would be a vast understatement. Through every facet of her life thus far, Michelle Obama has illustrated incredible drive and commitment to causes and experiences she is passionate about. Becoming walks us through her life, illuminating key events, moments, experiences, and people that have influenced her in some way. Not once does she come across as conceited, or as if she is trying to display her accomplishments, but the impressive nature of them shines through regardless.
From her childhood, growing up in an extension of her Aunt and Uncle’s home, Michelle was constantly striving for more. She listened to her Aunt’s piano students fumbling through their practices confident that she could do what they were doing, but even better. Upon beginning her own lessons, she tried to excel further in her songbook than was expected of her, resulting in a strict life lesson on following rules. She utilizes the disparity between her Aunt’s battered piano keys, and those of the shiny new recital piano as a beautiful depiction of the way that privilege, or lack thereof, can affect the performance of an individual in different settings and circumstances.
Throughout her autobiography, Michelle offers insight into her non-linear career path, and her internal conflict as she struggled to decide how and when to make changes in her life. Her dedication to pursuing a law degree, and practicing law only to ultimately realize it was not what she wanted, gave me immense relief. If even Michelle Obama didn’t have her life figured out from the get go, surely I’ll be okay, too. I also thoroughly enjoyed hearing about the development and growth of her relationship with Barack, and the way that his political pursuits affected their family. I had never given much thought to how moving into the White House would cause familial upheaval, especially with young children involved.
The entire section on life in the White House, and the adjustments Michelle had to make was extremely thought provoking. The lack of freedom that came with that sort of lifestyle, from not being able to go out for a casual date night, to not being able to take her daughter on tours of college campuses, showed life as the First Family with an unexpectedly melancholy lens.
The response to the ending, will, I’m sure, have a different effect on different readers, but I found it heart-wrenching and powerful. Every bit of this book fascinated me, and only left me wanting to know more about this incredible woman. I’ve found that the more I like a book, the shorter my review tends to be, and that seems to be a case here yet again. Perhaps it’s because I think that instead of spending more time reading my take on the writing, you should go and read the actual book itself.
(Also pictured, homemade Venetians! It’s a family recipe, but this one looks similar)