Book Review: “Becoming” by Michelle Obama

becomingHow much you might enjoy a celebrity memoir is usually directly related to how much of an admirer you are of said celebrity. This is perhaps doubly true when the celebrity also happens to be a political figure, since large swaths of the book wind up feeling like a dry recitation of their accomplishments. Luckily, Michelle Obama’s book mostly avoids that problem. The few times it does head that way do sort of bog things down, but they are few and far between. The majority of the book is a fascinating story of a girl from rather humble origins in Chicago who worked her way to Princeton and Harvard Law School and found herself a rewarding career all before becoming the First Lady of the United States. She doesn’t hold back much in these pages either, writing openly about everything from the alienation that can come with living in the White House, to the clever and sweet way Barack Obama proposed to her, to the pain of experiencing a miscarriage. These moments of frank honesty are what really carry the book along and elevate it above others of its kind to become the sort of memoir that even those with barely a passing interest in her life will find engaging. Because of where her life took her, politics do figure into her story, but this is most decidedly not a political book. Rather it is a story about the American dream, just how far it can take you, and what it can cost, told in plainly elegant prose, that will leave you wishing that she weren’t so clearly disinterested in running for office herself. ★★★★ – Sean Farrell

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★★★★★ = Excellent | ★★★★ = Very Good | ★★★ = Good | ★★ = Fair | ★ = Poor

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