Book review: Becoming by Michelle Obama

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I was never hugely into audiobooks, but I have finally found a kind that I like: autobiographies narrated by the person the book is about. ‘Becoming’ by Michelle Obama is exactly what I was looking for.

This story, told in chronological order, starts when Michelle is just a kid. Of course, I knew a little bit about the former first lady before I listened to this, but not a whole lot. I loved the portrayal of the south side of Chicago, and learning how Michelle dealt with a world that was – and is – divided in so many ways. I loved hearing about her father and how his disability was handled in the family.

I was hoping to also learn about how Michelle handled law school, as I’m currently in law school myself. Unfortunately, she kind of skipped over this part. It’s funny, because Michelle never wanted to be a lawyer. It was super interesting to hear how her career went as she steered away from law as someone with a law degree. In that way, I still got something out of that portion of the book.

But what I really loved, were her stories about the white house. What is was like to raise her daughters there and how they navigated the world of secret service agents and public appearances. For some reason, I’m always so interested in whatever is going on behind the scenes. This book gave a great insight in what we didn’t see, all those years in the white house.

It’s no secret that Michelle Obama is a woman I admire greatly. At times, this book made me so emotional it was hard to continue. If anything, this story made me realize how remarkable Michelle really is. The writing is heartfelt and clear. Just like any book written by a famous person, behind the scenes there are a lot of collaborators. But not once did I have the idea I was not reading Michelle’s words.

Final rating: ★★★★

“For me, becoming isn’t about arriving somewhere or achieving a certain aim. I see it instead as forward motion, a means of evolving, a way to reach continuously toward a better self. The journey doesn’t end.”  – Michelle Obama, Becoming


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