Warning: this is probably the gushiest review I’ve ever written. I didn’t think it was possible to love Michelle Obama any more, but it is. Much like the woman herself, Becoming doesn’t need much of an introduction. How could the memoirs of the former first lady be anything short of spectacular? From watching her traverse the world’s stage during her eight year tenure in the White House, we’d all known Michelle was incredible - perhaps even formidable. Becoming, however offers a slightly different perspective. Here’s a girl who grew up on the South Side of Chicago with a big, loving family. A fierce learner out to prove to everyone that a little black girl from a poor neighbourhood can make it. Her journey through Ivy League schools, a career in corporate law and even to the White House are more than enough to show the entire world her worth, but what makes Michelle’s story so compelling is the bits in between. The things that set her soul of fire. Her values, her beliefs, her empathy and her warmth. This is what makes Michelle Obama - and by extension her autobiography - so remarkable. It’s so much more than a White House exposé or a vicarious look into how The Obama’s live. Michelle shares every part of herself. I’m pretty sure I’ve started talking to people like Michelle is *actually* my close friend and mentor. But it’s almost impossible to read it without picking up a life lesson or two, or nod knowingly at a shared experience (both good and bad) despite our lives being a million miles apart. To say she’s inspirational is an understatement. Obviously she’s a downright icon. But I love that it’s because she’s down to earth, knows her self-worth and isn’t afraid to do the right thing, even if it does ruffle a few feathers. So if you hear me using my new mantra, WWMD, over the next couple of weeks... you’ll know why.
Becoming by Michelle Obama. Viking Press, 2018.