by Michelle Obama

Overview:In a life filled with meaning and accomplishment, Michelle Obama has emerged as one of the most iconic and compelling women of our era. As First Lady of the United States of America—the first African American to serve in that role—she helped create the most welcoming and inclusive White House in history, while also establishing herself as a powerful advocate for women and girls in the U.S. and around the world, dramatically changing the ways that families pursue healthier and more active lives, and standing with her husband as he led America through some of its most harrowing moments. Along the way, she showed us a few dance moves, crushed Carpool Karaoke, and raised two down-to-earth daughters under an unforgiving media glare.

In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her—from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world’s most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it—in her own words and on her own terms. Warm, wise, and revelatory, Becoming is the deeply personal reckoning of a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations—and whose story inspires us to do the same.

Deanna Boe (11/23/18): Whether you are a Democrat or a Republican, male or female, this is an exceptional memoir of a former First Lady of the United States. There are people who can write a biography and you can simply hear their voice as if they were talking directly to you through their writing; this is true of this book. This is not only about Michelle, but also her family, and naturally her husband, Barack. It shows how a black family, who were financially not that well off, was able to raise two outstanding children that both went to Princeton plus Michelle earning her law degree from Harvard.

Michelle gives you the background of her parent’s families. How they had moved from the south to Chicago during the depression and managed to survive. Her family lived in a small apartment upstairs of an aunt who owned the house. Until this aunt passed away, and left the home to her parents, they never owned their own home. Michelle’s parents insisted they use “proper” English which caused her to be teased by fellow students that she talked like a “white” girl. Michelle was accepted into Chicago’s first magnet school and in order to go there she rode the bus 90 minutes on two different buses, getting up at 5:00 to do so. You can see how this early determination leads to her later success in life. In spite of the fact the counselor at that magnet school told her she wasn’t Princeton material! Michelle went on to prove her wrong.

Princeton opened up a whole new world. Men on campus outnumbered women 2 to 1. Michelle had never been in a predominately white community before where her skin color made her stand out. She adjusted and adapted to new feelings, for instant, crime was not a huge factor. The burden of assimilation fell to the minority students; thus the reason Michelle needed her black friends. She learned how minority students have to rise to the occasion or they won’t succeed. Her success at Princeton and Harvard landed her a job in an exclusive law firm in Chicago. It was here Barack entered her life when she mentored him one summer when he came to that law firm.

It was after her father’s death at 55 that Michelle realized she didn’t want to spend her life writing legal briefs, there were more important things to do. These thoughts, along with her marriage to Barack not only put her life on a different track but also his. There is so much in this book that this review doesn’t even begin to do justice to its quality and the reason to read it. This is a book that shows how even someone born in the Southside of Chicago can grow up and make an impact on those around themselves and far beyond anyone’s expectations.
Rating: *****

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