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December 3, 2018
Kerry Pettis Bookwoman
Kerry Pettis Bookwoman

Becoming by Michelle Obama

This biography is divided into three sections: “Becoming Me” which covers Michelle’s childhood, “Becoming Us” which covers when she met Barack and their life as a couple, and “Becoming More” about their years in the White House.

A life-long Chicagoan, Michelle lived on the South Side where her father worked as a city employee. Her mother was a stay-at-home parent until Michelle and her older brother Craig were near adulthood. She describes herself as a “box-checker,” always conforming and aspiring to be the best academically. After graduating from a select high school, she attended Princeton and then Harvard Law School.

Returning to a Chicago law firm, she is asked to mentor a summer associate with an odd name. And that’s how Michelle and Barack met. He is working as a community organizer, which gradually draws Michelle into the fringes of politics. She describes Barack as a “serial over-committer” who is always late to everything. It takes considerable time for her to adjust to this personality quirk.

After their marriage and the birth of their daughters, Michelle reluctantly agrees to a presidential bid, not really thinking that her husband could win. The book covers the period leading to the election, full of chaos and frenzy, and the transition to living in the White House under constant scrutiny and constraints.

This is a very readable memoir about a unique First Lady. Her intelligence and character shine throughout. The focus is Michelle, not Barack.

Kerry Pettis is a retired elementary school teacher and children’s librarian who has lived in Broomfield since 1975. Reading is her favorite occupation.

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