Book Review: Becoming
Author: Michelle Obama
First of all, Michelle Obama is one of my she-roes. She is on my vision wall. A goal of mine is to be invited to a dinner with her and 'Barry' (my keyboard to God's ears). In the interim, this book is a nice substitute.
My take away: As stated before,Mrs. Obama is a hero of mine and every hero has an origin story. Becoming is an insightful look back that the dots of her life. Things that, in the moment, she didn't know would shape and prepare her for her future. Things like being childhood friends with Santita Jackson, daughter of Jesse Jackson. How she met Valerie Jared and Barack Obama.
The book is not a salacious tell-all, but rather a thoughtful recollection of moments she deemed significant in her life. Some of the recollections are personal to Mrs. Obama like her childhood in Chicago growing up with a large extended family. Others are more cosmopolitan like the adorable moment her daughter thought no one was going to attend the inauguration because there weren't any other cars on the road on their way to the ceremony.
You know those deep conversations you have with people on the plane or in the waiting room where you learn about some really deep and or personal details of this strangers life? You feel really connected in that moment, but you know that the moment is fleeting? That's how I felt reading this memoir. What I wanted was the kind of contemplating conversations you have with your close friends after midnight while drinking cocktails.
Maybe I'm greedy, but I feel like there was so much more left unsaid. The early portion of the book detailing her childhood was so much more personable than her recollection of her professional life and time in the White House. Mrs. Obama shared her thoughts on particular events in her life, but not her feelings. As someone who wants to be invited to dinner with the Obamas, I was hoping for the tone to be a bit...more.
"At fifty-four, I am still in progress, and I hope that I always will be." - Michelle Obama
I appreciate this sentiment so much. What I appreciate the most is how sparsely Barack is mentioned in the book. Michelle Obama doesn't tell her story as it relates to being First Lady or the wife of Barack Obama. It tells the story of a high achieving woman and how her past has led her to where she is now. From being a precocious child in newly integrated schools, to being accepted to not one,but two Ivy League Universities. As a first generation college student, to being a career professional as an attorney. Of course the former president and their time in the White House is mentioned, but that is the former First Lady's only achievement.
My recommendation: I would recommend this book to anyone that wants to be invited to dinner with the Obamas. Additionally, It's a good read. It is nicely paced and insightful. I wished that she would have gone in to more detail on certain aspects of her journey. It left me inspired 'to reach'.