The Light We Carry: Overcoming in Uncertain Times

Crown. Nov. 2022. 432p. ISBN 9780593237465. pap. $35. MEMOIR
Obama needs no introduction, but that doesn’t mean her second book, after The Light We Carry, won’t surprise readers. From her reflections on pain in the introduction all the way through the final answers readers will be delighted to discover on the last page, she has crafted a powerful narrative as much about her insecurities and struggles as it is about the strength she’s found through people in her life. She writes of intersectionality, hope, and fear—at an individual and systemic level—and the supportive relationships that have served her well through everything, from her time in the White House through the isolation and trauma of the COVID pandemic. She also shares glimpses of what parenting looks like in her family, how relationships evolve, and the strategies that have helped her become “armored yet agile,” a trait more necessary now, perhaps, than ever before. Not a word is wasted; not a sentiment feels out of place or inauthentic.
VERDICT This is wisdom, pure and simple, for everyone in search of the strength necessary to live expansive lives in a world that too often relegates people to the margins.
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