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  • Becoming

  • By: Michelle Obama
  • Narrated by: Michelle Obama
  • Length: 19 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 96,068
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 87,372
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 86,896

In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites listeners 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.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Didn't know what I was getting into

  • By Kenneth Woodward on 12-05-18

Grueling & disappointing

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-15-19

I really wanted to love this. As a lifelong Democrat and suburban Chicagoan, I expected to love it. With 12 hours remaining, I wasn’t sure I could finish it.

It feels like 19 hours of bitterness about her husband’s profession, all it demanded, and that she couldn’t control very much. It’s story after story of perceived wrongs and how it’s all such a bother. She seems almost spiteful.

I know it can’t have been easy. I know there are racist and/or sexist jerks, and many of us are equally appalled (though sadly, not shocked, in today’s world). We have to keep up the good fight. This book is no rallying cry. Maybe instead of “Becoming,” this should be titled “Bothered” or “Highly Annoyed.”

Where was her joy, her awe, her relief to have it so good and to have made it so far? Where was the sense of pride at graduating from Princeton and then Harvard? How about pride for reaching the White House, raising amazing children while there, sticking to her values and reflecting on all that they achieved as a family? She’s healthy. She’s close with her mom. She’s in a loving relationship. Her kids are beautiful, bright and accomplished. Her husband was the President. They’ve all traveled the world. They’re now millionaires. Is it all so very difficult? Is there not one joyous silver lining?

Some of us could never imagine being able to attend a single inaugural ball or a private White House after-party. (She couldn’t bother to stay up later and talk with their own private-party guests who were calling her name?) Please. They say you should never meet your heroes.

If you want something more uplifting, maybe there should be a “Becoming” drinking game: every time she says Euclid Avenue, Sidley or southside, drink!

12 of 17 people found this review helpful