An intimate, powerful, and inspiring memoir by the former First Lady of the United States 'A genuine page-turner, full of intimacies and reflections' Evening Standard 'A polished pearl of a memoir' New York Times 'A rich, entertaining and candid memoir. And overall Obama's a fun person to sit alongside as she tells you the story of her life . . . it is as beautifully written as any piece of fiction' i 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. In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her - from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world's most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it - in her own words and on her own terms. Warm, wise, and revelatory, Becoming is the deeply personal reckoning of a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations - and whose story inspires us to do the same. 'Offers new insights into her upbringing on the south side of Chicago and the highs and lows of life with Barack Obama. . . a refreshing level of honesty about what politics really did to her. I have read Barack Obama's two books so far, and this is like inserting a missing piece of reality into the narrative of his dizzying journey' Guardian 'I found myself lifting my jaw from my chest at the end of every other chapter . . . this was not the Obama I thought I knew. She was more' Independent 'An inspirational memoir that also rings true' Daily Telegraph
And it can be told in so many different ways... so you really have to decide what you want it to be. It’s a very creative act to tell your story even when you’re telling something that’s entirely the truth.
Now I think it's one of the most useless questions an adult can ask a child-What do you want to be when you grow up? As if growing up is finite. As if at some point you become something and that's the end.
With the economy in rough shape, Barack's team was constantly guarding against any image coming out of the White House that might be seen as frivolous or light, given the somberness of the times. This didn't always sit well with me. I knew from experience that even during hard times, maybe especially during hard times, it was still okay to laugh.
When I was a girl, I had vague ideas about how my life could be better. I'd go over to play at the Gore sisters' house and envy their space—the fact that their family had a whole house to themselves. I thought that it would mean something if my family could afford a nicer car. I couldn't help but notice who among my friends had more bracelets or Barbies than I did, or who got to buy their clothes at the mall instead of having a mom who sewed everything on the cheap using Butterick patterns at home. As a kid, you learn to measure long before you understand the size or value of anything. Eventually, if you're lucky, you learn that you've been measuring all wrong.
Michelle Obama reflecting shortly after she and her family moved into the White House. They now had an enormous house (everything she could have possibly wanted as a kid) but as she got older she learned life was always better when you measured it by the warmth of the people around you instead of material items.
If I were to start a file on things nobody tells you about until you're right in the thick of them, I might begin with miscarriages. A miscarriage is lonely, painful, and demoralizing almost on a cellular level. When you have one, you will likely mistake it for a personal failure, which it is not. Or a tragedy, which, regardless of how utterly devastating it feels in the moment, it also is not. What nobody tells you is that miscarriage happens all the time, to more women than you'd ever guess, given the relative silence around it. I learned this only after I mentioned that I'd miscarried to a couple of friends, who responded by heaping me with love and support and also their own miscarriage stories. It didn't take away the pain, but in unburying their own struggles, they steadied me during mine.
This may be the fundamental problem with caring a lot about what others think: It can put you on the established path-the my-isn't-that-impressive path-and keep you there for a long time. Maybe it stops you from swerving, from ever even considering a swerve, because what you risk losing in terms of other people's high regard can feel too costly.