Who hasn’t been excited for this book by Michelle Obama? I had already read both Dreams from My Father and The Audacity of Hope and I enjoyed getting Michelle’s perspective on things, although she’s careful not to just rehash stuff that was covered in her husband’s books.
Michelle spent more time on her childhood than I had been expecting, but since she grew up in Chicago, and since I grew up just outside of Chicago, I was totally OK with it. I loved hearing her talk about scenes with which I was very familiar, and those with which I was only semi-familiar, but it’s still all Chicago.
I appreciate that Michelle gives credit to other people for the fact that she got a good education and a series of good jobs. I’m not denying that she worked hard to be where she is, but I also know that no one who’s stuck there wants to be stuck, they just didn’t have anyone who believed in them. Michelle was lucky enough to have a mom who believed in her and stood up for her, leading her to believe in and stand up for herself, which also came in handy in her climb up the ladder.
I also appreciated hearing that she lived with her parents after graduating from law school, not because she couldn’t afford to move out, but because she liked living with her parents. As a millennial who still spends a lot of time at home, I can relate.
Of course, like any fan of the Obamas, I loved hearing about how they met, got together, and eventually got married. I had heard part of the story from Barack, but he had left out how he had intentionally goaded Michelle into an argument about marriage right before proposing to her. It sounds like the kind of thing my father would have done.
I’m not one of those people who’s thrilled that Michelle talked about their infertility and marriage counseling, but I do appreciate her honesty. I can see how that would be beneficial for people who are struggling or have struggled in their marriages and think the Obamas have it easy.
I wasn’t planning on this book being a comfort read, but I also hadn’t realized how hard parts of it would be to get through. She covers her dad’s death, which I had partly been prepared for, since Barack had sort of covered it in his first book, but Michelle covered it in much more detail, and having just been through the same thing with my mom, getting through that part of the book was tough.
Then there was listening to Michelle talk about her work at the University of Chicago Medical Center, which just happens to be where my mom died. So that was fun.
I wish Michelle had spent more time on her life as FLOTUS, but since it was a relatively small part of her life, it makes sense for her to spend a proportionately small amount of time on it in her book. I wanted to hear what it was like being the most popular FLOTUS in recent history, and while she does mention that, it sounds like the hate got most of her attention, which is too bad. I hope she doesn’t fall into the same trap with the release of this book.
I also appreciated her honesty in admitting that she didn’t think her husband could win, but I wonder if she didn’t doubt that possibility for longer than she admitted. I know I doubted it right up until the moment his victory was announced.
What did you read/listen to this week? Anything else you were really looking forward to?