Book Review: Becoming Michelle Obama

Anyone who knows or has seen Michelle Obama cannot deny that she has “that thing”, that thing, that we South Africans always refer to but can never explain. However, for the purpose of this blog, I am going to try to decipher or at-least try to explain what “that thing” is when it comes to Michelle Obama. From just watching her on TV whether she is giving a speech, in an interview or just waving at her and her husband, Barack Obama’s supporters, Michelle oozes grace, class, elegance and really just makes you gravitate towards her without even trying too hard.

In this book, she speaks candidly about her life, her upbringing, meeting her husband, their life together and her relationship with politics. Reading this book, I was surprised and impressed by her candor. I mean she goes in, very deep about her innermost thoughts and feelings. She is so open so much that at some point I felt like I was reading my Best friend’s diary. Her eloquence and humour make the 421 pages book easy to read.

I particularly loved that she does not paint her life as a fairy tale but talks openly about her tough upbringing, the sacrifices her parents had to make, to make sure that she and her brother went to the best schools. How they both through hard work eventually ended up being Ivy league graduates. She was also very candid about her marriage not being a “happily ever after event” but admits to them needing the assistance of a marriage counsellor to ensure that she and her husband’s expectations of each other as a married couple would be aligned. I laughed so hard at how she thought the counsellor would tell Barack that she, Michelle, was right and that only her husband needed to do some adjustments to make their marriage work but Boy was she wrong!

Raising her daughters was also a challenge due to Obama’s seeking and finally achieving the highest office in the land, Michelle was practically a single mother to her two daughters for most of the time. She opens up about her struggles to reconcile this fact and how she finally made it work without losing herself and her marriage in the process.

Michelle’s continuance to support her husband’s dream while following her own dreams is something most married women should aspire to. When she finally had to put her dreams on pause to be the First Lady, she refused to be a “dress cute, smile and wave” type of First lady but she continued to find ways to make an impact in her newly found position. If you have always admired Michelle Obama, this book will definitely make you fall in love with her …

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