Book Review

Becoming by Michelle Obama | Book Thoughts

“If you don’t get out there and define yourself, you’ll be quickly and inaccurately defined by others”

Michelle Obama was the First Lady of the United States of America for eight years. married to the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama.

These are things I think most people know.

Whether it’s because I live in the UK, or because I haven’t felt the need to do much research (possibly both), I didn’t know that much about her.

All I knew was from brief glimpses of seeing her on screen or hearing a few quotes and accomplishments over the years which made me thing “Wow, I like that quote” or “that’s a pretty impressive achievement”. 

During the book she talks about how things from their past and personal lives were dug up, spun and weaponised by opposing parties. I’d heard some over the years. For example, the birth certificate of Barack Obama. You roll your eyes and move on. But I had no clue about her thesis.

In a lot of ways, this book was eye-opening, and she didn’t hold back.

Not when talking about her past, the time she spent in the White House or her thoughts on the 45th President.

I have wondered what it must be like, to be people of such prominence and so in the public eye, and to try and raise a family and keep hold of your friendships.

I’m sure most people in the public eye deal with an amount of it, but chances are they’re not being followed and observed throughout school or days / nights out. Or if they are, while they may be judged (which is awful) most of the public wouldn’t necessarily consider it a personal matter. 

It seems like, when you become president, your life is no longer your own. 

I always wondered about that conversation. Does someone just come one one day and announce they’re going to run for president? Sat in my bedroom, in a small little town in the UK, the notion seems very far fetched. But I suppose that is some people’s reality. 

She goes in depth about growing up on the south side of Chicago. About her family and friends. How she always viewed education as important.

She also said that growing up she always knew what sounded good to please the adults around her. From the sound of it, this ultimately led her to a career path, she later realised she didn’t love, or even like.

Upon speaking with her mother the advice she received was to make money now and be happy later.

I’m sure a lot of people are going through that, or have gone through that exact thing themselves. I know I have in the past. 

Hearing about her fathers illness, how she felt Princeton was more accessible than the University of Chicago and the things she had to hear about herself again and again, day in and day out. I couldn’t possibly begin to imagine. 

But what comes through most is her strength. Her perseverance and determination to succeed. Her independence while also being fiercely devoted to her family. Her faith in people. 

It was a fascinating and inspiring read. I very much enjoyed my time with this and, if you’re at all interested in an in depth look into the life of Michelle Obama, then this is the book for you.

“Do we settle for the world as it is, or do we work for the world as it should be”

(1) Comment

  1. Oh my gosh, I need to read this for sure!

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