“Your story is what you have, what you will always have. It is something to own.”
Becoming is Michelle Obama’s memoir of her life up too when her husband, Barack, left the presidential office. Obama talks about her life as a child growing up in Chicago, in a neighborhood that suffered from White Flight. Obama manages to bring herself out of this, graduating from Princeton and becoming a successful lawyer. She continues be successful in her endeavors, including her unofficial job as First Lady of the United States. She ends her memoir around the time Donald Trump is sworn in making her memoir end in a very present time period.
Becoming is a book that I was really excited to read, though the $32 price tag was a little steep so I waited for five months to get a copy from my local library. That was a little excruciating. I was a little disappointed at parts but overall it was a good read. For me Becoming was a little weird to read because once she gets to her adulthood it’s a very preset. I’m use to reading memoirs that are either in a different country or are a little older so it feels very distant. This one end in 2017 after Donald Trump’s inauguration.
I got a little frustrated in the middle of the book. I know that Barack Obama is going to be an important part of her life because he is her husband but I did not pick this book up to learn about him. For a fair amount of the middle of the book I felt like I was learning more about Barack than I was of Michelle. This could have been fixed by making the descriptions sound more like they were through her eyes and her experience instead of just spitting out information about Barack running for Senator. It was a better by the time she got to his presidential campaign because she was very involved in the whole process. I only felt this way in the middle of the book, the rest of it was fine, surfacing every once in a while but for the most part if felt more like her memoir.
I loved that Obama added in things about being a First Lady, and having younger kids that you wouldn’t think about. For instance both Malia and Sasha learned how to drive while Barack Obama was in office. She talks about how she wanted them to have the experience of learning to drive like normal teenagers even if it meant that they have to have lessons from the Secret Service. Or how there was always a store of blood of Barack’s blood in the vehicle he was just in case he needed it. Things for her children became more complicated, security sweeps would have to happen before they were allowed to go to parties and they could never go anywhere without an escort. She explains that all of the rules were frustrating even though she knew how important they were.
Michelle Obama is an inspiring woman and her memoir is a reminder of how hard she has worked. She is not just the wife of a President but someone who truly worked hard and could have gotten to where she was without her husbands fame. She clearly states that she doesn’t like politics and would never run for President but man, her ideals would make for a great candidate.