Review: Becoming by Michelle Obama

As I have Amazon Prime, every once in a while they offer me a free audiobook. I much prefer paper books, but I thought why not? Because of the offer, I chose Becoming by Michelle Obama because I already read a lot of great reviews. Next to the audiobook, I also bought the e-book so I read it half/half. It turned out its nice to listen to a book while traveling to and from work.

The book cover


An intimate, powerful, and inspiring memoir by the former First Lady of the United States

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.

My first impression

The book is chronological and starts off with her youth. It is interesting to read about where she came from. She grew up with parents who stimulated her to reach high and to not give up. She was raised on the South Side of Chicago, a neighborhood getting worse as she grew up. I am curious to read more about her later life!

The story

The book is divided in three parts: becoming me, becoming us and becoming more. It first tells of her youth, growing up as an African-American female on the South Side of Chicago in a cramped up apartment. Her family was tight-knit. Her parents supported her along the way and made sure she got the best education possible. It then continues to her going off to Princeton and Harvard Law School.

When she started working as a lawyer, she met Barack Obama. Even when they started dating he was driven to make the world a better place for others. She describes the times when Barack was a senator, they got married and had kids and eventually his running for president.

And then she became the First Lady. She started her own initiatives, without getting too political. Meanwhile, she was balancing being a mother, getting used to all the staff, her anonymity lost, the threads they got and all the tasks that you get when you become First Lady.

The book ends when Donald Trump is elected to be the new president.

My opinion

I never knew a lot about Michelle Obama, but now I feel I do. The book is a very intimate and open portrait of her. She is very honest about her insecurities and worries which makes her very likeable and real. She came a long way, being born both African-American and female in the United States.

What I really liked about the book, is that it really humanized her. Despite of Barack and her being in the powerful position they were in, they never forgot people who were impoverished or went through devastation such as shootings or natural disasters. It seemed they really wanted the best for their family, the nation and the world.

She really seems inspiring, empathic, empowering and strong-willed. Finishing the book, it felt like saying goodbye to a friend.

Conclusion of Becoming

I loved this book! The only point of criticism is that I would have wanted to read more about the time during the presidency. However, the book is about her and her becoming, so I do understand the chapter divide. I highly recommend reading this book, as it opens your eyes to not only her life, but also being African-American and female in the political world of The United States.


Written by Roos Bergers