"If you can write, that's great. If you can tell a story, that's even greater. But if you can work a resilient premise into both, you're worth digging to find."

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Becoming by Michelle Obama

Synopsis: Reflections of Michelle Obama Becoming First Lady.

Writing Style: Velvety, Measured, Humorous

Pacing: Meticulous

Personal Highlights: Having observed and admired Michelle Obama from afar, catching many images of her (and her lovely family) on TV, along with the one time I saw her and then little gymnast Gabrielle Douglas photoed during an interview, made reading her memoir a special treat.

What surprised me most was her modest upbringing. I wholly loved her parents, her mom specifically, and related to her family’s stories indicative of many black families rooted in America’s early history. I’ll likely forever enjoy picturing Uncle Terry mowing the lawn dressed in wingtips and suspenders.

Other aspects that caught my attention was the velvety, measured, almost novel-like (humorous in many spots) writing. I’m thinking of that dream, similar to other euphemisms used to augment viewpoints. Overall, and none too ironic, and then ironic just the same, was Michelle growing up focused, organized and living by-the-book like many young women of that time who avoided ‘messy situations’ and cared a lot about what others thought. In other words, her story is common... as she points out... up until she meets Barack Obama, prior to him becoming the 44th president of the United States.

I was touched by her observations after speaking to the group in Iowa and really touched by her interest in military families. I nearly leaped out of my seat when she got to describing how she handled Barack’s absences (due to work commitments); that being in terms of juggling children, the home and career. YES! On point! Loved it! Exactly what I did! Though too... this would be expected for someone driven by order and who measured success.

Overall there was a lot to Becoming, which took a week to digest. I cried at the reaction of the wounded soldier in the hospital when meeting her... deeply respected college friend Suzanne’s perspective... and was affected by her talk with the young people in Chicago. Throwing little Sasha up on a table during an interview had me in tears too, though I was laughing there, like I did about Barack pulling out that cigarette...his Hawaiian footwear... and oh my goodness... that marriage proposal was a true treat.

I am grateful for the opportunity to learn about ‘our’ former First Lady and thank her tremendously for sharing a heartfelt story.

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