I was so very excited to finally get round to reading this book. I enjoyed every second of it. It’s out now, available at Amazon.
Becoming by Michelle Obama
Genre: Memoir/ Autobiography
BUG Rating : 5/5
Overall: A beautifully composed memoir that sets out to inspire people, that anything is possible with dreams and hard work. The writing was so powerful and emotional at times that I was totally immersed into the story. Michelle took us through some painful (and personal) memories, including losing her father and their journey/struggles to parenthood. Michelle was open, honest and real.
For me, becoming isn’t about arriving somewhere or achieving a certain aim. I see it instead as a forward motion, a means of evolving, a way to reach continuously towards a better self. The journey doesn’t end. […] It’s all a process, steps along a path. Becoming requires equal parts of patience and rigor. Becoming is never giving up on the idea that there’s more growing to be done.
There’s a lot I still don’t know about America, about life, about what the future might bring. But I do know myself. My father, Fraser, taught me to work hard, laugh often, and keep my word. My mother, Marian, showed me how to think for myself and to use my voice. Together, in our cramped apartment on the South Side of Chicago, they helped me see the value in our story, in my story, in the larger story of our country,even when it’s not pretty or perfect. Even when it’s more real than you want it to be. Your story is what you have, what you will always have. It is something to own.
As soon as I heard this book was coming out I was dying to get it. It was top on my Christmas list with my friends, who are the best and spoilt me!
This book wasn’t on my ‘desperate to read list’ because Michelle was the First Lady. Far from it. For me it was around what she had achieved in her own life. The struggles coming from a very working class, African-American background, and how despite the many challenges she faced, she made something of herself. Something incredible.
I actually half read this and half listened to it. I was several chapters in when Audible gave me some free credits to trial their service. So, I thought, seeing as it was Michelle herself narrating it, it would be pretty cool – and it really was. Something about Michelle actually telling her story just made the whole experience even more powerful. I don’t generally like audiobooks, but I would definitely try again for memoirs/autobiographies where the narrator is the author for sure.
The story itself takes us right back to where it all began – Michelle’s childhood in the South Shore neighbourhood of Chicago. Michelle takes us on an amazing ride of her life, guides us through her lowest moments, but also her joys. It was interesting to hear her take on how she balanced (and sometimes didn’t) motherhood, being the First Lady and in the public eye. What I loved, was how real everything felt. Michelle totally laid herself bare for us all to see. I learnt so much whilst reading/listening to this – it’s inspiring, empowering and quite rightly as she puts it, what she wants of her story is to enable kids to dream, and dream big. Kids from less privileged backgrounds, to show them that big, impactful things are possible regardless of where you have come from.
I felt totally moved by Michelle’s honesty throughout her account of her struggles and feelings. At times I was choked up, on the brink of tears – for me that is a sign of an awesome book, the writing powerful enough to transmit pure emotions across to the reader.
I eagerly await to see what charitable amazing work Michelle will do next, and hopefully another book!