By Lynn Willoughby
Becoming ~ Michelle Obama
This book is well written, candid, funny and also brought me to tears several times. I thoroughly enjoyed it and highly recommend it.
Obama starts with her childhood in south Chicago in a tiny apartment on Euclid Avenue. I think this early history is necessary for us to understand the woman we know, but it was not my favourite part of the book.
The eight years in the White House and what it meant to be the first black woman first lady made up the bulk of the book. Obama talks about how hurtful it was to be criticized for her height, her hips, her hair, her clothes and rarely noticed for her garden, her healthy food initiatives in schools, her campaign and solutions to growing childhood obesity. She talks candidly of the challenges of raising two young daughters under the same microscope. She discusses the White House staff, the secret service and meeting Queen Elizabeth and Nelson Mandela.
While much about the White House years was difficult, she also realizes how privileged she is and she never forgets that she is making history every day. Her efforts to provide an education for girls worldwide, has truly made a difference. And her mantra to “use your voice” for all the single black women in a room full of powerful men, is one we all need to remember.
“Becoming serenely balances gravity and grace, uplift and anecdote…” The Guardian
The title intrigued me, but it becomes clear as we read along. Obama’s wit and charm, her sense of fun and love of family made reading this book thoroughly enjoyable.