This post is a book review of Becoming by Michelle Obama- that published in 2018 and recently became the most bestselling memoir ever. (Source

Reaction- Simply Splendid!

My Rating- 5.0

Goodreads Link + Rating-

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38746485-becoming

One Line Review-

A book that has passages embodying strength, determination, vulnerability, optimism and action like the Former First Lady herself- authentic yet surprisingly relatable (considering she is a Yale and Princeton alum and Former FLOTUS).

Format- Hardcover

Reason for Reading –

Book selected for Women’s Resource Group Book Club at NCSA, Chicago, IL

Recommended By-

Women’s Group and Best Friend

Noteworthy Points or Chapters: 

Too many to recount. Instead am adding a few questions and answers we are slated to discuss in our book club. 

  • How much did you know about Michelle Obama’s history before reading her memoir? What details surprised you? 

I knew little to nothing about her history before reading the book. While I did know that she rose of her own efforts from her humble beginnings in Chicago; I was completely unaware of the extent of her accomplishments. Princeton and Yale alum, partner in a law firm, trained pianist and Former President Obama’s corporate boss/ senior- these were points that while not surprising, were facts that I did not know. While these points are rarely raised about a political spouse , considering the scrutiny she was under, I felt it would have been more well known. 

  • Did her writing style or the story that she told make her more or less relatable to you?   

Frankly, I did not expect it to be relatable. But it was. And I loved it. 

From her start as a hardworking student to a young woman stepping into the wide world of University and corporate career, to battling infertility and then juggling motherhood with work, to her time as First Lady and the hope of beyond; I really savored her narration: authentic, unvarnished, not always pleasant or easy yet refreshingly optimistic.

  • Did you identify with her upbringing on the South Side at all? Does that neighborhood seem familiar to you?

I grew up in a completely different neighborhood than the South Side. But some of the family dynamics were utterly relatable, especially about the large family and friends. 

  • In what ways is the Obamas’ marriage just like any other marriage? In what ways is it different?

The adjustments, the communication, the joys and frustration of being together with a person unlike you is the same. But their dynamics and the way they dealt with their circumstances is quite unique and unlike others.

  • Obama candidly discusses her struggles with infertility, in vitro fertilization, and motherhood. Many of us have also experienced those challenges. Did it frustrate anyone else that we did not know this before or hear about this side of Michelle Obama when she was First Lady?

It’s unfortunate that more conversations do not happen around these topics. I think Michelle Obama’s herself talks about how these topics are rarely discussed despite the frequency and enormity of their impact. It would have been better if these subjects had been discussed during the presidential tenure but better late than never. In fact, given her career and stature now, it’s as a good a time to open up the floor for these topics.

  • What does the title, Becoming, mean?

For me it means growing, rising and transforming by immersing oneself in experiences, opening ourselves to diverse perspectives, trying new ventures, by putting oneself out there.