This was our first meeting via Zoom which went pretty well. We all felt that Michelle is the person she is because of her home life. We felt that her parents and her close bonds with her family made her a strong and confident woman. Possibly without that family grounding her and giving her the confidence she might not have managed to achieve everything that she did. Although she did have a tough childhood and often felt that she didn't quite fit into each part of her life, this created a woman who understands that people can come from all sorts of backgrounds. We all understood that we came at this book from a place of privilege as we're all white middle class women so we can't fully understand the things that Michelle went through. We can never understand what it's like to be judged as a black person, but we can learn from her experience. But reading this book has given us the ability to learn about her life and possibly the lives of other people in her position. This book was a learning experience for us on many different levels. Firstly to be able to read about the life of a black woman, to see the world through her eyes, plus to be able to learn more about the American political system. Michelle pulls no punches in this book and there are some parts that are hard to read, both due to what they deal with and also feeling what Michelle was going through. She had to make some tough decisions in her life with Barack and also prior to her life with him. She made an enormous decision to move away from her work as a lawyer and to move more towards public service. This was a tough thing to do for many reasons and we all wondered if we would have the strength of character to do this in our own lives. Many in the group felt that if it was something they felt in their heart they had to do then they would do it. But we also realised that this type of change is easier for some people to do than others depending on the support they got. Overall we gave this book 6 out of 10 with marks ranging from 4 to 9. The lower marks were often just due to a dislike of biographies, autobiographies.
Overall the book was very intriguing, particularly as I had not previously huge amounts about Michelle beforehand.
An inspirational read that we all enjoyed. Many of us downloaded the audio version too and as it is read by Michelle you get a unique feel for the book. My book group, The Bookclub Dozen read this book and we were all still discussing it two hours later! We used the questions shared by the publisher and it made for an interesting debate during the evening. We were also very lucky to see Michelle Obama at the O2 and wow what an evening. The icing on the cake after reading this book.