Becoming by Michelle Obama – Read by MJ Readers
In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her – from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world’s most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it – in her own words and on her own terms.
Warm, wise, and revelatory, Becoming is the deeply personal reckoning of a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations – and whose story inspires us to do the same.
Our group enjoyed Michele Obama’s autobiography. So much of what we know of the White House is male centric so reading a female perspective was refreshing and informative.
Michele’s life story tells of a close knit family, institutional racism and hatred, the importance of education, taking opportunities, questioning, listening and learning. Her family was her great strength encouraging and supporting her to embrace her ‘smartness’ without pride. She tells of the sense of fear and resentment she and Barack provoked in others as hatred of people of colour was ‘old, deep and dangerous as ever’. How they and their family coped with and rose above prejudices was an enthralling read that created much discussion in our group.
Lyrebird by Cecelia Ahern – Read by Dundas Readers
‘An emotional love story with great heart’ Sunday Express Her life is a secret waiting to be set free… Following the death of her father, Laura Button’s hidden life in remote West Cork is revealed. Encountering her by accident, deep in the woods, Solomon Fallon feels an instant connection. Laura, nicknamed Lyrebird for her gift with sound, has a talent that offers her a passport into the world. Through Solomon, she seeks a new life. But Solomon’s fear is that the world won’t set Lyrebird free. Instead, it will put her in a cage… The story that unfolds is one of a quite extraordinary love.
Reclusive twenty six year old Laura is found
living alone on a remote farm in Ireland by a TV documentary crew.
Laura is an excellent mimic, almost unconsciously reproducing any sounds she hears just like the
Australian Lyrebird, hence her becoming known as Lyrebird. She is encouraged by the TV crew to participate in a TV talent show to showcase her unique gift. As a result, she faces many challenges as she attempts to adapt to city living and navigate relationships.
This story received a mixed response from our group. Some detested it and others enjoyed it. Those who didn’t enjoy it felt that it was poorly written, unrealistic, predictable and that it belonged it the YA category. Others who enjoyed it felt that although some of it was predictable and unlikely, the concept of Laura’s gift and ensuing rise to fame was intriguing. One member even said ‘I hated it and I loved it’! Our group score was 6 out of 10.