CBR11 Bingo – Reader’s Choice (in place of Science)
I’ll admit that despite the hype surrounding this book, I initially had little interest in this memoir. It was a ‘meh, I’m sure I’ll get around to it someday, but it’s not near the top of my TBR pile’. I’m thinking it’s partially because I’m not a huge memoir person, partially because I’m not American, and partially because American politics makes my blood boil a little bit (no offence, eh?). But more and more people (specifically women) in my circles kept recommending it, and then it kept coming up in talks amongst my fellow leaders in the girls’ junior high leadership program that I’m involved in. They kept talking about Obama’s focus on the importance of female friendships, of empowering girls, and of using your voice. So I put it on hold at the library, and here we are – it became my Labour Day long-weekend read.
Becoming traces Obama’s story from her childhood in Chicago, all the way to her life in the White House, and it’s a captivating one. She paints a beautiful picture of her family and upbringing, outlining the stepping stones that were key to her success (namely, supportive parents who valued her education above almost everything else). Famous for being the first black FLOTUS, she draws you into that narrative, explaining how race played a role in so many of her formative experiences, from high school to Princeton & Harvard, from practicing corporate law to the campaign trail, and finally her eight years of impact in the White House.
While I obviously knew who Michelle Obama is, and knew bits and pieces of her story, this was an amazing insight into who she is outside of the FLOTUS role. I appreciated her drive and desire to be a strong, independent woman (even before she met Barack). As her family shifted into the international limelight, it is easy to see how she became defined as “the wife of…”, instead of the accomplished & powerful woman that she is on her own. I loved her candid descriptions of how she wrestled through those moments of juggling her career, family, and his aspirations. Her passion and love for people comes out in every page which is to be admired and emulated, regardless of your nationality or politics. I teared up several times throughout the book, and loved the human look into one of the most famous families in the world.
Loved it, would recommend to anyone.