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Becoming is a powerful book every woman should read, and by extension, every human. It contains the story of Michelle Obama, the former First Lady of United States of America. Many have argued that the book was not penned by Michelle herself. But the most important thing is that it has the story of the first black resident of the America’s seat of government – The White House. Becoming is not only book that has gone into contestation as to whether it was written by the author or not. Even Shakespeare himself had been accused of running other people’s works as his. So, from wherever that sentiment is emanating from, Becoming is one of the greatest book of the century. It is quite a big book with about 400 pages. The books narrates about Michelle’s ancestry, how she took the illustrious path of becoming instead become, her experience in the White House and with Queen Elizabeth, her motherly role and her practical campaign against obesity and eating healthy.

She subtly tackles the issue of feminism. Although she adores the love of her life, Barack Obama, she mentions how she was forced to live alone without him. She mentions how she hated the very career Obama loves – Politics.

Becoming is actually a way of saying that no one is born perfect or successful, rather achieving what we desire is a daily, if not hourly, process. She expresses her humility in the book when she admitted that there are certain things she could have done better while the husband was at the Presidency. But of which she does not feel guilty of, becoming the human nature matures in a progressive manner, and that nothing positive is instantaneous.

It is an understatement to say the book was is bestseller, having been published from day one in 24 languages and selling over a couple million of copies two weeks after its publication.

In her story, it was obvious  Michelle was a brilliant girl during her school years. She attended the best universities in the United States of America to establish her law profession. The book then talks about the romantic encounters she had with Barack Obama, who was also a guy trying to pursue his law profession. She devoted quite a number of pages praising her husband. She says her husband is materially made of books. Many people will agree that she feel in love with Obama, not because he is rich or handsome, but because he was bookish.

What makes Becoming an unputdownable book is because the language is simple and frank. However, one would have expected her to go into greater details about her home and her earlier relationship with Obama. Maybe, she  believes dirty linen should not be washed outside. Obama was not her first lover, but he was her last. It is so uncommon to see black Americans of such a status falling in love and remaining in love. She is blessed to be in relationships with a spouse who knows how to talk to you. A partner who understands the importance of tone. A man who can address an issue out of love and not belittlement. It is how you say it that matters most. It is worthy of note to mention that Michelle Obama and Barack Obama have two different background. The former grew up in a close-knit family. The latter grew up in a single family. The discrepancy in their background wanted to ruin their relationship in some ways. Why? Because Barack Obama loved them to be long-time lovers but Michelle Obama wanted something deeper. She wanted a commitment. She wanted them to be locked in a wedlock. They have not regretted it since. The 59-year-old memoirist married her beloved husband at the age of 28. Her husband was also a young man of  31. The marriage was not immediately blessed with a child. She had a stillbirth and six years after, she gave birth to her first daughter Malia. Just like any mother, losing an unborn baby was a painful experience. It is like eagerly awaiting for a gift only to be told few minutes before its arrival that it cannot reach you. The pain is indescribable. But cute Malia was a comfort to her. Barack Obama loved her instantly. Life is not a bed of roses.  Everyone has their pains and hurts. Becoming requires one to live above this pain and face life and conquer it. Becoming delves into two incidents that caused the author great pain. It was the death of her father, one year before her wedding and the death of her friend, Alele, whom she lost to cancer.

becoming by michelle obama

Becoming acknowledges how Barack Obama worked through addiction. The readers were surprised about the revelation of Barack being a chain smoker. Thanks for the support of the family as he successfully break the addiction.

If there is anyone maligned by the public, it was Michelle Obama. She was called all sorts of name. It was quite depressing. On one occasion, she was called a gay male, and that Barack Obama is homosexual relationship with her. So many ridiculous things were said about her. Despite these vilification, Michelle Obama remained humbled and evolving by the dynamic phenomenon in her life.

Her memoir briefly illustrated how vile people are against persons they perceive to be occupying her higher status. She also talks about how social media have given people the channel of disparaging others and fuelling discord and hate. She narrates how she made a comment, but only a clip of it was posted and reposted. She explains it was an attempt to create in different picture away from what she said in that event.

Her outlook in life is basically and aptly summarized in the words of Robert Greene, “Like a hustler, you must find your freedom through the fluidity of your thoughts and your constant inventiveness.”

She seldom brings her brilliant girls to the spotlight, except for when they were campaigning for healthy diet and growing of one’s plants. Malia and Sasha Obama were the darlings of the couple. Irregardless of their social status their mother ensured they grew up like ordinary human beings instead of princesses of medieval times.  Anyway, Michelle Obama speaks about what life in the White House meant for her. She laments about the absence of freedom, about her children are not allowed to be children. Always being watched and driven to school in highly secured, tinted vehicles. Her expresses her lack of living her life the way she wanted it because the First Lady is expected to do this and that, and because being American First Lady is a risky job at the first place.

She has a soft spot for girls. Maybe because she is a mother of girls. In Becoming, she mentions that her dream is for girls to be educated globally. She felt very hurt when she heard girls who lived in a boarding school at Chibok were kidnapped by Boko Haram terrorists. Feeling hurt was the only thing she did, she mentions how she garnered the support of celebrities like Stephen Colbert to lend their voice to the popularization of the girl-child and the value of getting her educated in this 21st century.

Michelle Obama maintains she hates politics. To her, politics have a lot of murky waters.  It is a sea is will never attempt to swim. She respects her husband’s resilience, especially when America was caught in the middle of leaving Osama bin Laden or ending his life. Barack Obama took a decisive but expensive move of killing the monster once and for all. Thereby sending a message to terrorists and terrorist organizations around the world that Americans and humans by extension are too dear to be massacred in any ideological or religious guise.

Barack Obama was also hailed for signing the gay  rights bill into law. He chose to uphold freedom and human rights, a pillar on which American democracy stands.

Since the book’s publication on November 13, 2018, it has sold over 18 million copies and still counting.

We cannot conclude the review of Becoming without mentioning the Epilogue. She discusses about their last day in the White House. She does not nice thing to say about the incoming Republican president, Donald Trump. She expresses her surprise that America could vote for a man with so much venom and disregard for humanity as a whole. But she has a positive outlook, that America will be great, greater than the way they left it.  


The remarkable sales of the book is not magical. It is because the author offered a refreshing story of life, living and ambition. Many people will not describe Michelle Obama as being a feminist, especially if you want to employ the radical term for it. But many will agree she loves a world where everyone is equal and everyone is given equal opportunity to become whoever they want to become in the grinding wheel of the Becoming Process. In term of global rating, the book received an A. Go grab a copy!

Review on becoming By Michelle Obama
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