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REVIEW | "Becoming"


Three million copies of the former first lady’s memoir were sold in the first month of its release. [Photo courtesy of Crown Publishing Group]
Michelle Obama’s latest memoir, “Becoming,” leads America into a new era of reflection on American history, values and people that have made up the country’s current tumultuous socio-political landscape.
The rush of the press, civic duties and endless political work during her husband’s presidential term has passed. Mrs.Obama delivers her story at a steady pace, pausing to savor each memory and reminiscing of her youthful perceptions of the world that have since been displaced by monumental experiences. Her conversational tone impels the reader to feel endearment for Mrs. Obama as if she were a close friend.
Her writing is raw and candid and she does not shy away from her most depraved experiences or the most uncertain and doubtful moments of her career. Mrs. Obama discusses having a miscarriage and using reproductive technology to have her daughters. Without reserve, she shares her experiences with marital counseling and conflicts she has had with her husband. She even reveals her initial doubt her husband would win the presidential election because he was black. No matter the struggles she has endured, it is clear Mrs. Obama is proud of the life she has led and the legacy she will leave behind.
Reading this book is like listening to one of Mrs. Obama’s speeches: Her voice ripples with sentiment, nostalgia and humor, yet also carries an undying hope–a pledge of faith to the generations to come. Many Americans can relate to the poverty Mrs. Obama experienced as a child, or the racial and cultural divisions she confronts in the novel. In spite of these discouraging realities, her character exemplifies the values of perseverance and determinism she wants to instill in our generation.

Her voice ripples with sentiment, nostalgia and humor, yet also carries an undying hope–a pledge of faith to the generations to come.

Michelle Obama will not be running for president, as she makes clear in her novel. Regardless, her inspirational leadership will continue to thrive. The current first lady remains in the shadow of Michelle’s influence. The current first lady is fulfilling a role, but Mrs. Obama continues to passionately invest in the future of America. Through this memoir, she uses her social prestige and acclaim to empower the youth of America.

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