Becoming

The Silence of the Girls by Pat B

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.

Author: Michelle Obama

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Rating: 5/5

“Let’s invite one another in. Maybe then we can begin to fear less, to make fewer wrong assumptions, to let go of the biases and stereotypes that unnecessarily divide us. Maybe we can better embrace the ways we are the same. It’s not about being perfect. It’s not about where you get yourself in the end. There’s power in allowing yourself to be known and heard, in owning your unique story, in using your authentic voice. And there’s grace in being willing to know and hear others. This, for me, is how we become.”

What a truly fantastic memoir. You’re probably hearing that from everyone who’s read this book, and that’s for good reason. Its beautiful prose and thoughtful structure make it an easy yet powerful read.

The book is broken into three parts: “Becoming Me,” “Becoming Us,” and “Becoming More.” “Becoming Me” chronicles Michelle’s childhood and family upbringing, from when she was very small until she was a young lawyer after grad school. “Becoming Us” follows Michelle and Barack’s relationship, marriage, and the presidency. And “Becoming More” goes from relatively recent events through the present.

Every bit of this book was fascinating. I knew very little about Michelle’s family or upbringing other than that she grew up in Chicago, and now I know just how beautiful it was. I also knew little about the Obamas’ early marriage, and now I know that was beautiful as well. But those things were challenging too, and her transparency about them is poignant.

All in all, this isn’t a memoir to be missed. It’s worth every bit of the praise it’s received, and I’m really glad that I got the hardcover to add to my shelves.

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