Becoming by Michelle Obama

Book – Becoming is a fascinating biography of former first lady Michelle Obama. We get a glimpse of her tight knit, extended family upbringing on Chicago’s south side. Her mother had high expectations of her children and taught them independence. Her father battled MS, yet took pride in his work for the City. He instilled his work ethic in his children and encouraged Michelle to be outspoken and unafraid. She adored her protective and supportive older brother, Craig and eventually followed him to Princeton. She developed a love of music from her great aunt who gave her piano lessons and her grandfather who always filled his house with music. Her childhood and family support helped mold her into an intelligent, independent woman.

Michelle thrived at Harvard Law School. I did not know that Michelle was a first year lawyer at a prestigious firm when she and Barack met. He was a first year law student at Harvard working as a summer associate hired by her firm. Becoming delves into their career paths, marriage and family life. We see just how unglamorous a life in politics really is and her initially strong misgivings. Michelle eventually supported Barack for his Senate bid and eventually the presidency, because she firmly believed in his vision and ability to make a difference. Themes of love and family are primary to her story. Fiercely supportive of her husband and protective of her daughters, she worked hard for them have as normal a life as possible. Though Michelle touches on the obstacles of being an African American woman, she does not dwell on them and moves forward, inspired. She writes, “I’m an ordinary person who found herself on an extraordinary journey.” Becoming is an inspiring story of a woman who has soul and substance.

On November 19th Obama will release Becoming: A Guided Journal for Discovering Your Voice to accompany her memoir and help others find their voice.

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