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Book Review of Becoming by Michelle Obama

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Questioning your abilities and talking yourself down. Seeking perfection and always showing it to outsiders. What do others think of me and am I enough? Such questions are more common in people’s lives than you can imagine. They also live the minds of the most confident people and people we look up to, such as Michelle Obama.  

Michelle Obama’s book Becoming is an encouraging and eye-opening story about an African-American girl from Chicago who ends up as one of the most influential women in the United States due to her life choices and hard work. Her story gives the reader a picture of what it is like to be a minority, mother, and wife of an influential man. The book was published in 2018 by Viking Press. The book is a memoir and biography that deals with the life of Michelle Obama from her perspective.  

In the book, Michelle goes through her life from her childhood to her adulthood. She tells what life as an African-American was like in her youth and what difficulties she experienced as she grew up. Michelle comes from a poorer family and her family included a working but MIT sick father, a stay home housewife mother, and social butterfly brother Greg. Family and relatives played a big role as Michelle grew up. Growing up, Michelle and her brother were given lots of room for independence and they were treated and spoken as adults from early on, but they were also held tough discipline for school success. While Michelle focused on perfect school grades, a change took place around her. The nice neighborhood where she grew up began to turn into a ghetto and education was at stake to weaken for her because of the lack of white students in the school. Thankfully her mother made sure that Michelle was given proper education. 

Many times Michelle had to experience some kind of injustice or human gaze as she grew up as a well-educated African American girl. After meeting with Barak Obama in a law firm, where Michelle worked after college, her life began to experience change. Barak’s passion is making the United States better, and his wisdom appealed to the people. As the cards were turned, Michelle, an ordinary Chicago-rooted, who did not care about politics became the first colored first lady of the United States as a result of her husband’s accomplishments. She needed to work to get used to the rules and arrangements of her new life with her two young daughters. Privacy and “normal” everyday life had become a memory for Michel after they moved into the White House.  

The book follows Michelle’s life and her thoughts on herself and introduces the reader to her various stages of life, her thoughts, and the community issues that prevailed at the time. The book covers her childhood, youth, college times, the challenges and successes of working life, meeting Barak Obama, and the life changes that followed, becoming a mother, and working as the first woman in the United States. The book is easy to read and very addictive. What’s most addictive about reading it is that you get to know how Michelle has reacted and thought about the events of recent years and what the first woman’s everyday life is like and how does a person deals with that kind of life. In addition, it is inspiring to read about the achievements of a strong woman and how she worked in her office, was able to make a change, took care of herself and her family. Michelle is a woman who has done a lot of work, is well educated, and has achieved a lot in her life. But a woman who has always put the needs of herself and her daughters first.  

I learned from the book a new set of mind, Michelle’s mindset. The changes in her life taught her in many ways. How she graduated from Harvard law school not because of her dream, but to satisfy others and do what others think is good. And realizing that working in a big law firm didn’t bring her happiness and that a radical change in life can be good and bring something to be happy and proud about in life, is inspiring. It makes you think and realize that others’ vision of success and what to strive for doesn’t guarantee happiness for you. We are personally responsible for the kind of life we build for ourselves and we have a choice over that. I also learned that even the most influential of us hesitate, question, and make mistakes, but instead of bathing in these thoughts, they go on with their lives. Reading about the well-known people failing in the beginning and struggling with life is inspiring. It makes us see that these people have been similar in the beginning, if not even in worse conditions, they are originally ordinary people. But they have worked hard for their happiness and success and sacrificed a lot for it. It is your choice to do what you do and the consequences must be endured, even if it is not always easy or pleasant.  

I recommend the book to anyone devoid of good and interesting reading. The book is long but interesting and with expansive thoughts. It teaches us to value our own lives and see how some of us live life and what sacrifices such a life brings. The book is also great for those who are interested in reading about strong and inspiring women. It inspires, makes you think about life’s big questions, gives you confidence, and encourages you to reach for your dreams. 

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