Published: November 13th, 2018
One of my goals this year was to read more nonfiction, and oh man did I start with a big one! Since it’s publication last year, I had heard non-stop praise for it, and I’ve always admired Michelle, so I had to read it.
The book follows her life up until she left the White House. I honestly knew nothing about her childhood before I read this, but I think how she grew up really impacted who she became as a person. She came from a humble household and her parents taught her to be independent and responsible. Her experience with school was really interesting to me. She wanted to go to Princeton, as a black girl from a lower income family, so the odds were stacked against her, but she got accepted and proved everyone wrong.
Throughout her whole story, it is clear how motivated she is. By her mid-20’s, she was a successful lawyer in Chicago. In that career as well as every job after that, she put so much effort into helping other people. She helped get lower income people access to health care and helped young people work on social issues. Even when she was helping Barack during his campaigns, she threw her all into it.
I really enjoyed hearing about her and Barack’s relationship. They really only came into the spotlight after they had been married for over 15 years, so it was interesting to hear about their early married life. Michelle didn’t try to sugarcoat any of her experience. They went through a lot with his political career and she talks about how it affected her personally, as well as the family.
Her work as First Lady was as focused on helping people as her previous jobs were. She wanted kids from lower income families to have more access to fresh foods and for them to get out and play more. She set up young girls, especially young girls of color, with mentors so that they had someone to look up to and she advocated for better resources for veterans. While doing this, she had the public criticizing her for a face she made or a fashion choice.
I learned how strong Michelle is from this book. She constantly had people telling her she couldn’t do things, either because of her class, race, or gender, but that just motivated her to do it even more. She dealt with her father having multiple scoliosis and she dealt with miscarriages and fertility problems. She was the first African American to be First Lady, a role with an already ambiguous definition. She was spread thin between her family, her job, and helping campaign, but she managed to do it all. It wasn’t easy, but she did it.
She has definitely become one of my role models. She uses any power she has to advocate for people with less and she doesn’t let other people’s opinions stop her. I think this book is so powerful and I am so happy I read it! If you want to know more about her or you just want to read about a kickass lady, I highly recommend this book.