“If you don’t get out there and define yourself, you’ll be quickly and inaccurately defined by others.”
Becoming was definitely worth all the hype.
Michelle Obama has gifted us with the emotional and inspiring story of her life. A native of South Side Chicago, Michelle has persevered through all trials in her life. She is an accomplished, fierce black woman and former First Lady of the United States. She embodies class, confidence, and strength and I was so excited when I found out she would be writing a memoir.
Split into three parts, Becoming chronicles the people and experiences that have shaped Michelle Robinson into being the Michelle Obama that we respect today. In “Becoming Me”, she relays her days as a child growing up in Chicago. She talks about how her parents raised both her and her brother, Craig, molding them into head-strong and intelligent individuals. Even though they didn’t have much, they still managed to put not one, but both children through Princeton University. In “Becoming Us”, she introduces her future husband and later on POTUS. Michelle gives us a glimpse of how she and Barack met and how they fell in love. She journals through the days of him running for senator and later, President and how it changed their relationship. I found myself crying, laughing, and hurting along with her. She tackles the hardships of being married to a politician and the difficulties with conceiving children. And lastly, in “Becoming More”, she details her and her family’s journey to the White House and how, as FLOTUS, she could help change America.
I’m not usually one to read memoirs, biographies, or autobiographies. Becoming is only the second autobiography I’ve read in full, the first being Trevor Noah’s Born a Crime (which was amazing). And I loved it. The one thing I love about Michelle’s story is that it’s so relatable. From the uncertainty to her future career to the loss of her father, Michelle does not hold back the intimate details of her life. Her voice is solid and clear throughout all 400+ pages and it begs you to listen.
While reading Becoming, you’ll feel as if you’re talking with a close friend. She’s so down-to-Earth and open in the way she speaks. Her opinions, self-doubts, and worries all things we trouble ourselves with. As a black woman myself, I sometimes find myself posing the same question she did, am I good enough? And Michelle definitely lets us know that she is good enough and that we are good enough. Her story is an inspiration. It is transformative. It is optimistic. I recommend this book to everyone and anyone who might feel stuck in their life right now. I know it gave me a push when I needed it and I hope it does the same for everyone who gives it a chance.
Rating: 5/5 stars