Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes
Michelle Obama’s latest book, The Light We Carry: Overcoming in Uncertain Times, is an riveting work. In it, Obama offers a glimpse into her personal toolbox for navigating our ever-changing world. Written with Obama’s trademark optimism, the book is an eminently undemanding read, accessible to both mothers and daughters alike. The prose is straightforward, but personable and easy to digest.
In The Light We Carry, Obama provides a handful of anecdotes knotted with modest aphorisms and small insights. Though some of the advice she offers may seem clichéd, much of it is still could be valuable. Obama discards entirely the First Lady coating of domestic perfection, and by her own admission, she has made “a fairly deliberate effort to blow holes in the myth” of her utopian life in the White House. This only further reinforces her credibility as an author.
Obama’s previous book, her memoir Becoming (2018), is an inspiring read, offering a glimpse into her personal life and her journey from a middle-class Chicago upbringing to the White House. The follow-up work we comment here, The Light We Carry…, builds upon the same themes of personal growth and resilience, but does so with a slightly different tone.
Michelle Obama provides readers with practical advice on how to handle difficult times and grow.
While Becoming is a more personal account of Obama’s life, focusing on her family relationships, her career successes, and her struggles to find her own voice, The Light We Carry… is more of a self-help book, providing readers with practical advice on how to handle difficult times and grow. While it is still personal, it is much more focused on providing guidance to the reader.
Now, though The Light We Carry… is a genuinely enjoyable read, it does have some limitations. Obama revisits nearly every theme explored in Becoming, and though she does so from a slightly different perspective and with a different tone, it can become repetitive. Additionally, some of Obama’s musings on fitness and stress relief may seem exagerated. It’s not clear that the average reader could ever hope to attain the same level of physical and mental fortitude as the former first lady.
Ultimately, though there is nothing particularly revolutionary or earth-shattering in this book, it is still a solid and enjoyable read, and it offers valuable insights into navigating our dynamic and changing world.