"Provocative....Persuasively describes the phenomenon of belonging to two different worlds, and thus belonging to neither." (The New York Times Book Review)
"Fluidly, calmly, insightfully, Obama guides us straight to the intersection of the most serious questions of identity, class, and race." (Washington Post Book World)
The past few years I've listened to a lot of non-fiction. This story, in particular, interested me as I'm going to write my own non-fiction book on my dad (though not in the way you'd suspect) but this isn't about me. I thought Obama was an excellent President and this book good good reviews, so as is my usual practice I slowly listened to it over the past few months.
It's always a pleasure to listen to a book read by the author, especially when it's non-fiction. It has a great personal touch hearing someone's own thoughts on their life. Obama has a great speaking voice and I was immediately drawn into this book.
He had a tough childhood, living with his mom and stepdad in a foreign country, then moving back to the states to live with his grandparents, always feeling like he didn't belong and not having much of a relationship with his real father. Also, like many of us, he struggles to decide what to do with his life, faith and what kind of person he wants to be.
Obviously as a Caucasian I can't even pretend to understand the feelings/issues/history of an African American, I had a normal childhood and I had a normal religion and always had a group of friends I fit in with. All that said, I did enjoy the insight of the struggles Obama went though and what I'm certain millions of African Americans go through every day living in the US.
It is both an amazing and a heartbreaking journey as Obama goes to Africa for the first time to meet many of his family members, gets to know them, learns the family history and ultimately learns who his father truly was and resolves thoughts and feelings he had towards them.
I suppose I'm being spoiler-like here, don't care, it's non-fiction and the book isn't about surprises or twists anyway. It ends with a speech Obama gave in support of John Kerry where he talks about America, Kerry, his wife and kids and his father and family. It's a great way to end the book but with insane Trump Times it's hard to listen to. Anyway I won't get all political, I'll just say I think any of the other candidates would have been better than Trump, God help us if he wins again.
So excellent book, nothings perfect but Obama I think could write fiction as well, he is very good at description and putting emotion in scenes. A solid 8.5 out of 10 from me and a solid recommendation. While I'm not sure this would be a great book for young children, I'd say ages 12+ just so they can fully grasp the important issues therein. This was an audio book from Audible, by go to source for a while to come.